Teachers are asked to have lessons that are engaging and relevant, cross-curricular, focus on 21st century skills, differentiate learning, incorporate non-fiction reading and writing and provide an authentic assessment of their students understanding. We see this as the core fundamental of what STEM education is all about and Defined STEM strives to bring this type of learning to each teacher and student in a school. How do we do this? Defined STEM combines a number of different content types that accentuate the educational strategies of STEM education. Real-World Videos set the stage for each lesson by showing the practical application of educational concepts within a company/industry. Performance Tasks built around the specific job/industry ask the students to apply the knowledge learned in a real world unpredictable situations. Literacy Tasks ask students to read, synthesize and write informative and/or position papers around the real world career based topic. Performance Tasks Defined STEM’s Performance Tasks are built from the UBD (Understanding By Design) framework and presents a real-world problem within the context of a career/industry. The career based videos frame the task, which allows the students to see the task through the career lens. Each Task contains The Big Idea, Essential Questions and learning outcomes which outlines what will align with the learning in the Task. Teachers present the task using the G.R.A.S.P. model Goal, Role, Audience, Situation and Products. The culminating activities that the students produce are the products that are based on the Goal of the task. Each task contains between 5-8 products that represent cross curricular topics. Teachers have the option to assign any or all of the products based upon content, learning levels and/or multiple intelligences. Through the Defined STEM Task Editor a teacher can edit the task, remove or add products or up-load other pertinent information to the task. Accompanied with each task are rubrics for each type of product. Teachers have the ability to download the rubric, which makes it very simple to edit the rubric to their specifications. Click here to view a small sample of Defined STEM's performance tasks. Literacy Tasks Defined STEM's literacy tasks are designed for students in grades 3-12 and have been created using templates from the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC). The tasks are developed to align with the Common Core English Language Arts Standards and are meant to promote high-quality student assignments that develop reading, writing, and thinking skills in the context of learning science, history, English, social studies, and other subjects. Informational and argumentative tasks are provided aligned with a career based video and a performance task. Each literacy task provides the student with an overview of the content, guiding questions closely aligned with research articles, a language prompt, tier three vocabulary, and a rubric aligned with the Common Core English Language Arts Standards. The tasks present the students with a "real-world" situation that encourages their writing through either informational or argumentative products. Click here to view a small sample of Defined STEM's literacy tasks. Real-World Video Connections Defined STEM’s unique real-world videos are specifically designed to promote the relevant connections between college and careers to educational concepts. We highlight various different jobs from many different industries depicting how workers are using math, language arts, science and technology in their job. By interviewing a diverse group (45% of people interviewed are women or minorities) with varying type of educational backgrounds (High School diploma to Phd’s) allows students to see a road map to a specific job and the skills sets that are needed to achieve their goal. For example, The Wind Business gives an overview of how the Horizon Wind Energy plans, constructs and produces energy from wind turbines. Highlighted in this video are a wind analyst, construction engineer and a construction foreman describing their job responsibilities and the connection to various math, engineering and scientific principles. Students are exposed to this growing industry and visualizing the educational skill sets needed to work in this field. Click here to view a small sample of our real-world videos. Custom Productions Defined STEM's core principal is bringing relevance into learning. Through local custom productions, students can see an even greater relevance to their learning as it applies to their local community. If your district has relationships with local businesses that would like to be profiled, please contact us to find out more about showcasing them within Defined STEM. Our Team The Defined STEM team brings over 50 years of experience in education, technology, and curriculum development. We've won numerous awards over the years for both our technology and curriculum development. Our proven track record of creating dynamic, innovative, and practical applications for the classroom sets us apart from others. Our belief is to listen to our customers and adapt quickly to meet their needs. In just a few short years, Defined STEM has transformed into the leader for providing simulated real-world opportunities for students to practice and apply the knowledge learned in the classroom.