Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics Overview
STEM fields are those academic and professional disciplines that fall under the umbrella areas of science, technology, engineering and math. According to both the United States National Research Council and the National Science Foundation, the fields are collectively considered core technological underpinnings of an advanced society. Evidence abounds in political and academic forums that the strength of the STEM workforce is viewed as an indicator of a nation’s ability to sustain itself.
At Shepaug, we strive to create opportunities for learners to work effectively as individuals and in groups to resolve problems in new and creative ways. Students are taught and encouraged to inquire, analyze and solve problems, and then demonstrate how and why they arrived at their decisions. We offer both required courses and electives, created to meet differentiated interests, abilities and possible career paths. The electives include AP and honors courses, as well as the possibility for independent research. Teachers, guidance counselors, parents and students work collaboratively to help each student design the course of study that best reflects his/her talents and academic goals.
Rigor inspires students to stretch beyond their individual comfort zones to embrace and master meaningful challenges and begin to define their own interests, potential and direction. Rigorous learning is characterized by higher-order thinking, deep understanding of important ideas, critical self-reflection, and the integration and application of knowledge and skills with an eye toward the larger world. Rigor should pervade every course, at every level, in every content area. (Connecticut State Department of Education: Connecticut Secondary School Reform, 2010)