The recent focus on teaching school children about science, technology, engineering and math is warranted. STEM-educated people play a critical role in the nation’s economy and are leaders in innovation.
Because of the importance of STEM, many teachers want to stay current with the latest tools and techniques used to support STEM education. Fresno Pacific University offers a STEM Teaching Certificate as a way to do just that, preparing teachers with professional development courses designed to make them better educators.
The certificate program allows teachers to “expand their skills and methods for engaging students in rich, powerful STEM learning experiences” while earning professional development credit from an accredited university.
The STEM Worker Shortage
STEM fields play an integral role in society, from the roads we drive on to the houses we live in and the smartphones that have become so central to our lives.
The growth in jobs in STEM fields has been nothing less than phenomenal. Jobs in STEM have grown 79% since 1990, according to a study by the Pew Research Center. That study found STEM workers earn more on average than those in most other occupations. They also tend to be highly educated.
Even so, there remains a shortage of STEM workers. Two out of five Americans think that the STEM worker shortage has reached crisis proportions. Many also believe that teachers do not have the resources they need to provide proper STEM education. In addition to the overall STEM worker shortage, the Pew Research Center found that women and people of color are underrepresented in many STEM fields.
Why STEM Education Is Important
Earning a certificate in teaching STEM is critical because it improves STEM education in the classroom. The desired goal is to instill a passion for STEM in some students, guiding them to eventually pursue careers in a STEM field.
The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) notes that STEM education is necessary in “an ever-changing, increasingly complex world.” The world needs students who are learning the knowledge and skills necessary to “solve problems, make sense of information, and know how to gather and evaluate evidence to make decisions,” according to the DOE.
That’s why so much emphasis is placed on STEM education. Teachers face a big responsibility in connecting students with a passion for STEM fields.
The STEM Teaching Certificate
Through STEM Teaching Certificate courses offered at Fresno Pacific University, teachers gain the knowledge and skills needed to promote STEM in their classroom. Educators learn how to blend topics that are often taught separately into all areas of education, supporting students in learning how to solve problems using math, science and engineering.
As part of the certificate program, teachers are required to take the Inspire STEM Learning course that teaches an interdisciplinary approach to teaching STEM topics.
Teachers also choose from the following four elective courses to complete the certificate:
- Coding in the Classroom
- Makerspace: Technology and Tinkering
- Sketchup: 3D Modeling for Educators
- Teaching Robotics: An Introduction
- Think Like an Engineer
- Teaching with Scratch
The Fresno Pacific University STEM Teaching Certificate offers educators a way to improve their ability to inspire students in the important topics of science, technology, engineering and math. In the modern world, it’s a skill that teachers need now more than ever.