Insights, stories and data snapshots of schools, educators and students using Defined STEM.
Defined STEM Certified Educator Program
Engage students in real world projects that deepen understanding and drive student achievement
At Defined STEM, we believe that real-world project-based learning is essential for helping students build the critical 21st-century skills they need to succeed in college, careers, and life. The Defined STEM certification program is designed to encourage the use of meaningful real-world performance tasks that drive student outcomes. Certification is awarded to educators who demonstrate purposeful use of Defined STEM tasks to enhance the teaching and learning process in the classroom.
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Students were very engaged because they were looking at real data and could find connections to knowledge they had and build upon it. I believe the more students can see real world connections the more invested they are. It is above read, respond, assess. It moves students into the realm of thinking about the world around them, connections to careers, solving problems in the real world and their place in this future. Many of the students wanted to expand their research and answer other questions that had come to their minds.
– Donna Foster, Grades 3-5 Science, Hinsdale Elementary, NH
The questions and the discussion were some of the best classroom conversation I remember having. Through the different stages of this activity, the students learned by doing and became better problem solvers. Future jobs require a teaching and learning focus on these 21st Century Skills for students to find careers in the future. As the Lead STEAM Coach of our school district, I plan to sell all the uses the Defined STEM database has to offer, and hope to infuse as many performance based tasks as possible.
– Jerry Pytleski, 6th Grade Math Teacher, Central Lyon CSD, IA
It is easy to see the impact of learning through Defined STEM. The units follow a meaningful format of showing interesting phenomena followed by asking unique, driving questions. Students are engaged immediately and have a clear goal of a real world task. It is easy to arrange the units to include methods of formative assessment and providing time for small group and class discussions. There are times where students are empowered to explore their curiosities with the support of safe, vetted resources.
– Michael Jones, 7-8th Grade Science Teacher, Thomas Metcalf Lab, IL
Aligning the curriculum in this way helps students make purposeful and useful connections for different subject areas skills while they are building and practicing those skills in authentic learning environments, providing the student with a clear lens to view the entire picture of real world situations and 21st Century skills expectations.
– Michelle Cruz, 4th Grade Teacher, Broward, FL
I absolutely love that this project helped show fractions and/or decimals in a real-life situation that the students really relate to. I would do this Ice Cream Stand project over and over each year. It was a great project to start off with. Since then, we just did the Volcanologist one. It was a different focus and also well done. My student love Defined STEM and we can’t wait to find the time to do another one.
– Seth Otteson, Murray School District, UT
This task impacted student learning by engaging students in a way that I’ve never seen them engaged before. They were eager to research the topic. All in all, the structure and ease of use have helped me to bring project based learning into my classroom. I have been wanting to do it for years, but didn’t have the vision to see how it would work. Defined STEM allowed me to do that and the students have found the activities very engaging and rigorous.
– Valerie Baxter, 4th Grade Teacher, Elmhurst School District, IL
To learn more about some of these educators and what they have to say about the program, explore our Teacher Experiences section. If you have questions about the Certified Educator program, please contact Maggie O’Brien.