Top 10 STEM Education Articles of 2017

By Maggie O’Brien


We reviewed the major news articles written on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in 2017 and found ten that we think are exceptionally inspiring and educational.  Topics range from research reports to feature stories about new STEM and STEAM (STEM+Arts) initiatives in schools.


These articles support Defined STEM’s mission of assisting students in developing the critical 21st-century skills they need to succeed in college, career, and life.


Expanding Access to High-Quality STEM and Computer Science Education Provides More Pathways to Good Jobs

The White House

This was a top read article on STEM education in 2017 with over 15.3K shares across social media.  In this statement, the White House highlights the need to expand and enhance STEM education in order to better prepare our students for the jobs of the future.  The White House directs the Secretary of Education to do the following: 1.) Establish high-quality STEM education as a top priority, 2.) Devote at least $200 million per year in grant funds towards this priority, and 3.) Explore administrative actions that will add or increase focus on Computer Science in existing K-12 and post-secondary programs.


The Search for Real-World STEM Problems

Education Week

STEM educator and author, Anne Jolly, discusses how the key to engaging students in STEM subjects is by asking them to work on solutions to real-world problems. Anne shares her insights and experiences and offers suggestions on resources educators can use to help identify and create real-world problems with STEM solutions.


Where will STEM education be in 5 years?

eSchool News

STEM jobs are growing at an astounding rate every year, yet STEM education programs have not kept pace.  This article discusses the anticipated changes in STEM education over the next five years that could impact the quality of STEM education.  Three changes highlighted are: 1.) students becoming fluent in coding, 2.) a convergence of entertainment and education, and 3.) more arts integration.  Also discussed is the importance of providing the teacher with the right resources to implement quality STEM teaching that prepares students for the future.


How to incorporate the 5th ‘C’ of 21st Century learning

eSchool News

In this article, three educators discuss why career-readiness is equally as important as the 4 C’s (collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity) of 21st-century learning. They explain how real-world projects can provide students with opportunities for building career-ready skills. Other tips include starting the conversations about careers at a young age and weaving career-scenarios into the curriculum.


PBL and STEAM Education: A Natural Fit


In this article, Instructional Coach Andrew Miller explains how using Project-Based Learning is an effective way to bring real-world context to STEAM subjects.  Andrew states “we must focus less on the content and more on the overall pedagogical implications for effective instruction, and use PBL to make learning happen”.  This article is filled with examples and tips on how PBL and STEAM can complement each other in your classroom.


4 Things All Project-Based Learning Teachers Should Do


This was one of the most read articles on Project-Based Learning (PBL) in 2017 and was shared over 7.8K times across social media.  In this article, TeachThought explains the four main things teachers must do to  create a PBL classroom: 1.) Begin at the end, 2.) Help students develop questions, 3.) Help students think like an expert, and 4.) Help students present, publish, & perform.


Getting Students Excited About STEM

Smart Brief

Director of K-12 STEM education for Florida’s Hillsborough County Schools, Larry Plank, explains that they are seeing significant gains in student STEM engagement and achievement due “not only to what we are teaching them but to how we are teaching them”. Plank gives examples of the strategies they are using to give students authentic hands-on STEM learning experiences that are preparing them for college and careers.


These Educators Know How to Make PBL Work for Teachers

eSchool News

Get insight on what it takes to roll out a successful PBL implementation from three trailblazing educators:  1.) a superintendent in Illinois, 2.)  a STEM PD director in Stoughton Public Schools, Massachusetts, and 3.) a science consultant in the Northwest Area Education Agency, Iowa.


Be The Change You Want to See By Shifting Traditional High School

KQED Mind/Shift

Two high school teachers discuss how they are changing the traditional approaches to teaching and learning. They created a school-within-a-school program that uses a project-based and tech-savvy approach to teaching English, technology, and science in an interdisciplinary way.


I made my classroom look like the real world…and test scores soared

TedEd Blog

Fifth-grade science and social studies teacher, Anthony Johnson, explains his success engaging students with real-world lessons.  Anthony’s classroom is run like an interactive city and is “a simulation of adulthood where students works, create and learn about personal finance and entrepreneurial skills.  They experience real-world situations and gain insights into global affairs.”




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