STEM schools offer an experience that prepares students for today’s job market, where math, science and technology skills are essential. Electronic and communications technology is fundamental to developing skills in those disciplines. It enables interdisciplinary teaching, provides robust connections with and between students, and is inherent in the curriculum itself.
Facilities should provide wireless connectivity to all students, with shared network support and printing capability. Classrooms should include ceiling-mounted projectors, SmartBoards, and other tools that allow seamless integration of technology in learning projects and presentations.
Technology enhances the project-based learning approach of STEM schools like Health Professions High School in Sacramento. Here, students develop expertise in the technology they use for giving two knowledge-presentations to their peers and instructors each year. Meanwhile, San Diego’s High Tech High is structured closer to an open office environment than a traditional school, allowing students to work independently at computer workstations. The technical and media skills developed here are eventually applied within the larger community, where students do research projects and internships.