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July 24, 2018

ASCD Stem by Choice Program

Instructional Strategies
STEM by Choice Program Spark 101 image thumbnail
According to a report published by the 114th Partnership,
  • Some 20 million students were expected to graduate by 2020.
  • Most will never have tackled a real-world problem.
  • Although 77 percent of high school students report wanting to simulate real-world scenarios, only 12 percent report having the opportunity to do so.
  • The total number of publicly offered internships is declining steadily, down 10 percent from 2014.
All students need options for learning about viable careers and critical skills, and STEM educators need high-quality resources in order to help students navigate their professional pathway, as schools (secondary and postsecondary) are increasingly tasked to help students explore potential careers and to integrate more job-related experiences into their courses.
ASCD's STEM by Choice Program includes
  • an instructional guide developed in collaboration with STEM practitioners,
  • videos from Spark101 which provide educators with a framework for engaging students in authentic problem solving as part of a learning progression,
  • and a training module webinar presented by the guide's authors that explains how to use the guide and videos.

ASCD STEM by Choice Universal Guide

The ASCD STEM by Choice Universal Guide aims to support STEM integration in classrooms using Spark 101 STEM Skills Videos. Spark 101, a program of the 114th Partnership, engages students in authentic problem solving and features real "on-the-job" professional challenges in a format that allows students to apply their own creativity and skills. Students learn how real challenges are addressed in business, government, nonprofits, and academic institutions. The videos meet national and state education standards and use a format proven to be effective in schools.

Download the Guide

Spark 101 Videos

Spark 101 teamed with the Toyota USA Foundation to create six videos that engage diverse students in STEM learning and introduce pathways to potential manufacturing careers. Watch educators in Farmington, Maine, Camden, New Jersey, and Detroit, Michigan using free Spark 101 teaching tools to:
  • engage students of all backgrounds in critical thinking about real world problems,
  • highlight pathways to STEM based careers,
  • and show actual engineering environments students would not otherwise get to experience.

Implementation Overview

Episode 1: Engineering Design

Episode 2: Utilizing Automation

Episode 3: Technology Upgrades

Episode 4: Performance Assessment

Episode 5: Connecting Students and STEM

Episode 6: Customizing a STEM Lesson

ASCD STEM by Choice Webinar

In this informative webinar, ASCD's STEM by Choice master teachers Douglas Hodum and Tammie Schrader will share how educators can use the ASCD STEM by Choice Universal Guide in their grades 6–12 STEM classrooms and schools.
Before you watch the webinar, be sure to download the guide to follow along and participate in this hands-on experience. This webinar serves as an in-depth training module for the guide.

How to Use

  • Spark101 videos are designed to be a part of a larger learning experience of encountering a real-world problem and a solution developed by various STEM professionals. The videos are not intended to be complete lessons, but rather a part of a learning progression.
  • The framework supports lesson design as a tool for engaging students.
  • The videos are intended to provide a framework for student engagement in which students solve a real-world problem or challenge. As a supplement to a lesson plan, each video is intended to provide a context through which students can problem solve and work in small groups.
  • Watch the Spark101 Teacher Implementation video and follow along with the STEM by Choice Universal Guide: Sample (pages 3–4).

ASCD's STEM by Choice Program is made possible by the support of the 114th Partnership and the Toyota USA Foundation®. 

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