The STEM4Real Network:
Be empowered to teach cutting-edge STEM and NGSS content... with a social justice and anti-racist lens
Let’s connect with a global network of educators to create world-class STEM instruction for the next generation.
The Problem: COVID-19 changed everything. What if it disrupted our current professional learning for the better?
In order to reach our students, we must do something different, dynamic, and call all hands on deck.
The STEM4Real Network
The STEM4Real Network is a platform to network and collaborate nationally and internationally with fellow like-minded educators committed to STEM standards + justice. Our community has access to the following:
Collaboration and Lesson Study within the STEM4Real Network of educators - engage in “The STEM4Real Way”, an online professional learning series focused on the Next Generation Science Standards, Culturally Responsive Phenomena, Case Study Students, Teacher Observation, and Analysis of Student Work.
Teacher-Curated Lesson Bank and instructional resources: Using the Lesson Study process, teachers create 3-dimensional (practices, core ideas, and cross cutting concepts) and 5E (engage, explore, explain, elaborate, evaluate) instructional sequences grounded in culturally responsive pedagogy.
Monthly Live Professional Learning (Offered Virtually) - Live workshops focused on current issues in STEM education including assessment, instructional practices, English Language Learner instruction, Social-Emotional Learning, Trauma-Informed Practices.
Weekly Equity-Focused Mindset CPAs - Equity work takes work. It is an ongoing practice that we as educators must continually fine tune in order to address STEM + Social Justice educational issues. In these sessions, we Collaborate, Problem-solve and Action-plan (CPA) on specific hot seat issues that we can learn from together.
Weekly Office Coworking Hours - sometimes we just need allocated time in the week to focus on getting work done and having a community to support you as you check off those tasks.
Yearly Events with Guest Speakers - We kick off each year with our goals and end each year with our culminating event, sharing best practices and of course, our 3D5E instructional sequences that combine STEM + Social Justice + Joy
Online Course Access: Leadership 4 Justice
Our multifaceted series addresses the root causes of student inequities and social injustice so that you graduate with an action plan on how to recognize and dismantle systemic racism, increase student outcomes and rebuild your education system #4Real. Participants walk away with an action plan to incorporate socially just leadership practices that pave the way for an equitable and inclusive STEM education.
Online Course Access: The STEM4Real Way
NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) and Common Core aligned-professional learning that involves lesson study, case study student analysis, teacher observations, analysis of student work, and instructional lesson planning. Participants walk away with instructional sequences that combine culturally responsive pedagogy with phenomena-based learning using the 3D5E model (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate).
Optional Continuing Education Units (CEUs) - participants have the option to purchase continuing education units separately with our university partner, Cal State University, East Bay.
STEM4Real Grants - Members can apply for grants to support equitable #4Real STEM education in their schools.
How can we make our NET...WORK?
Our framework centers on creation, cultivation and connection. We believe that the principles of STEM Education can be used in any content area to promote design thinking, collaboration, and academic discourse. STEM4Real is committed to providing comprehensive and high quality professional development for your school and district.
- 1Our Promise
Our promise is to make education socially just #4Real through
⇨ Equity-driven instructional planning
⇨ Focused professional learning
⇨ Collaboration and action planning
⇨ Leadership development
Elementary Teachers, Secondary Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Teachers, Instructional coaches, and Administrators
$1295/educator per year: Individual Teachers
$895/educator per year: Groups of 5+ or more
Why We Are Different
Content + Social Justice
We combine principles of equity and social justice so that educators are learning about standards-based (NGSS/CCSS/ELD) instruction and differentiating for all student groups (students with disabilities, African-American students, English Learners, etc.) accordingly.
We engage with educators during the presentation - there is always an active component where we are thinking, doing, reflecting, and collaborating. We never just talk at our audience all day. We teach and model what we are asking our teachers to do in their classrooms, whether it is live or virtually.
Implementation and Action
We provide tools and resources that can be immediately used in the classroom. There is no need to purchase a set of curriculum or expensive materials. We focus on pedagogy, leadership and shifting teacher practice to create student-centered learning modules grounded in student curiosity.
Happy Teachers = Happy Students! We have fun!
Frequently Asked Questions
When can I sign up for the STEM4Real Network?
We know teachers are very busy and that the school year can seem like a roller coaster. We have designed our network to allow you to join anytime and allow for active learning, application, and integration throughout the calendar year (yes, even during the summer!), yet also concise enough not to overwhelm you.
Who is STEM4Real?
STEM4Real is an innovative professional development nonprofit organization providing education professionals with the skills, solutions, and material needed to create equal and effective learning environments. We are regularly in search of collaborative partners and passionate individuals who want to be part of the change in education and combine STANDARDS and SOCIAL JUSTICE as part of our daily practices.
Is STEM4Real a curriculum?
No, we are a way of teaching and learning focused on methods. We help you use your existing curriculum and shift the learning to be culturally responsive to your individualized student needs. The Network will host a lesson bank of teacher-curated lessons created during The STEM4Real Way lesson study program.
Is this only for STEM education?
No! Though we make STEM4Real, we believe that we need writing, reading, arts, and history as well! Our STEM learning methods can be applied across the content. We use an interdisciplinary approach called the DO-KNOW-THINK framework that focuses on student practices, content knowledge, and thinking using cross-cutting concepts. We use the STEM approach to make learning happen!
What about STEAM?
We LOVE the arts! Our methods work with STEAM, STREAM, and every other acronym!
Our unique approach involves interdisciplinary instruction centered around the WHY behind the instruction. We use the power of culturally responsive phenomena to hook our students in the learnings.
If you focus on STEM, why discuss leadership?
We knew that to create systemic change truly, this critical and intensive work takes a village. We can't just focus on the teachers, students, or parents. That is why we created Leadership 4 Justice that calls all hands on deck. We need our administrators, teachers, leaders, and community members working cohesively to develop and implement a shared vision for justice.
“The Network shaped all of my teaching methods because it gave me an approach to lesson planning and empathizing through the lens of students, parents and staff. I would say all the modules and activities were the most helpful because of the substance in each module and how the modules all connected in some form.”
Student Teacher, Cal State East Bay
“We will work to make this the lens for developing equitable educational opportunities and programming. In order to provide our community with an equitable education, we can't just sit back and wait for systems of inequity to change. We have to be part of the change. The Network helped our PLC identify and refine our leadership tools in order to approach problems within systems of inequity in a more strategic and intentional way.”
Computer science teacher/coach, Hayward Unified School District
“I will continue to be empathetic and think of the why behind an action. I will not just think about my students but will also think of their family and the surrounding community. I found talking with my team the most useful. Having conversations about the things we see at school and then brainstorming how to address those. I also enjoyed looking at biases and the best way to address those.I would say that it is definitely worth it if you are beginning your journey with social justice. There is so much going on in our world and we need to continue to work toward a more equitable world and school for our students and community!”
Elementary teacher, Walnut Creek Unified School District
“Thank you for this amazing opportunity! I have learned so much about the importance of incorporating social justice standards. I am also so impressed by the enthusiasm and dedication of all the educators and presenters. Very engaging and informative!"
Teacher, Mount Diablo Unified School District
“My key takeaways from The Network are Including social justice in science lessons. Thanks, it has been eye opening to include important standards (beyond academic) built into lessons. My students are more engaged in work with greater connection to me and the topics.”
Teacher, Mount Diablo Unified School District
“Social Justice can be addressed with all students at any age where they are right now. This class has reminded me of the importance of teaching students about the connections we have to our world in science along with the hard science. It is always important to remember the justice side of education as you interact with kids. It's one of the things that I really have been trying to keep in the forefront of my student interactions.”
Department Chair, Brentwood, Unified School District
As educators, we have been doing the same thing for decades. Let’s stand up and do something different. It’s time to put anti-racist teaching strategies into practice #4Real.
Let’s Make STEM #4Real!
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