The STEM Manifesto,
1) All people have creative potential. Our students are not passive consumers of information. Adults must provide the space for them to be active participants in their own learning and construction of knowledge. Their inherent talents, interests, and creativity have only to be unleashed.
2) Each student deserves an opportunity to prosper. Too many students who reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of Oregon, too many from families navigating poverty, too many from rural communities, and too many young women are not afforded a path into high-wage, high-demand STEM professions. No student’s potential, nor dreams, should be left unrealized.
3) Diversity is our strength. Differences of gender, ability, race, ethnicity, and culture provide critical and diverse perspectives and voices to address today’s complex challenges. Innovation and solutions emerge where different ideas and cultures interconnect.
4) Engaged learners succeed. How we teach our students is as important as what we teach them. We must create meaningful learning experiences that empower all students to embrace their curiosity, take ownership of, and joy in their learning, and become lifelong learners.
5) Education is a collective responsibility. Effective STEM learning takes place both in and outside of classrooms. Everyone in our community is a potential educator. We need to engage with leaders, institutions, and volunteers in our communities who want to help our young succeed.
6) Innovation is the cornerstone of prosperity. STEM education is not just about filling jobs, but also about creating jobs. Building an innovation-based economy is essential for the long-term competitiveness and prosperity of Oregon and its people.
7) Learning takes courage, persistence, and humility. Pushing the boundaries of one’s understanding requires us to value curiosity, risk failure as a stepping stone to success, prize questions over answers, and see learning as an unending journey.
8) STEM skills are essential skills. Advancements in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are transforming nearly every facet of life and work. Not only is STEM literacy integral to the requirements of daily life, civic engagement, and employment, so are STEM capabilities in analyzing needs, taking initiative, organizing effort, and solving problems.
9) STEM learning is cross-disciplinary. It is the interconnectedness of ideas that enables people to integrate new learning with their prior experiences. STEM by its nature synthesizes analytical and creative thinking across multiple areas of human knowledge and expression. It is a powerful tool that sits at the crossroads of the sciences, arts, and humanities.
10) The best way to learn STEM, is to DO it. STEM education is not about retaining facts or disconnected bits of information. Purpose-driven learning challenges students to pursue deeper questions, and to identify and solve problems that are relevant and meaningful.