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STEM improves education for all

| Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, 9:00 p.m.

We are grateful to the VND for shining a light on the importance of STEM education in the Sept. 16 article, Catholic schools gather to discuss STEM program.” It focused on the group of parochial schools participating in our Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway, joining an additional 7,000 participating schools in 17 states and the District of Columbia, serving 3.9 million students.

The Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway seeks continuous improvement guiding diverse schools — both well-resourced and under-resourced — on how best to address the challenge of strengthening their STEM programming. This is open to any school district in the nation with a drive to improve STEM education.

A foundation in STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — education is crucial for today's learners and for our future. Providing strong STEM education means taking an interdisciplinary approach to these subjects through inquiry-based teaching strategies, project-based learning and career awareness.

St. Joseph High School Principal Beverly Kaniecki said it well: “We want our students thinking on their feet rather than memorizing a list of questions and answers.”

Indeed, STEM education is rooted in what we call “essential skills” — teamwork, problem-solving, communication, critical thinking and creativity. STEM is not just for scientists and mathematicians — it's for all of us to understand the evolving world in which we live. STEM is for all.

Ann M. Metzger and Ronald J. Baillie

Pittsburgh

The authors are co-directors of the Carnegie Science Center

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