STEM-driven school culture: Pillars of a transformative STEM approach
Carol C. Waters 1 * , Amy Orange 2
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1 University of Houston-Clear Lake, United States
2 Independent Researcher, United States
* Corresponding Author


Educators are vital in capturing students’ STEM interest. An integrated approach to STEM education is necessary to promote students’ interest and curiosity while building the foundation of STEM concepts needed to fuel the STEM workforce. This exploratory case study examined K-5 STEM educators’ perceptions of a successful STEM elementary school. Survey, interview, and focus group data were analyzed and coded to determine what educators feel are the components of a STEM elementary school. This paper focuses on the emergent themes of a (a) STEM-driven school culture and (b) collaboration and professional development. By working collaboratively, educators at Gemini Elementary School developed a STEM-driven school culture that encouraged students to embrace a growth mindset and learn from their mistakes. Teachers were supported in their learnings by the STEM specialist, administrators, their colleagues, and grew their knowledge by attending professional development sessions. The results of this study point to the need for a paradigm shift where embracing a STEM-driven school culture can provide an explosion of academic and creative freedom.



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