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How to Get Started in STEM Education

Step 1 offers UTC students the opportunity to explore teaching as a career by teaching science/math lessons in elementary classrooms in order to obtain first-hand experience with planning and implementing an inquiry-based curriculum.  Experienced secondary classroom teachers (Master Teachers) teach the course, providing students with direct access to people who love teaching and who believe that teaching is a rewarding career choice. Step 1 gives an introduction to the theory and practice that is necessary to design and deliver excellent and engaging inquiry-based science and mathematics instruction that provides the scaffold for the early field experience. In this class standards-based lesson design and various teaching and behavior management strategies will be discussed.

An experienced elementary classroom teacher serves as a mentor to provide the future secondary teachers support and advice as they experience teaching via guided inquiry, many for the first time. The elementary classrooms are selected both for diversity of the student body and for quality of the classroom teacher. The class meets one and one-half class hours a week for one semester.  Fieldwork for students consists of planning and teaching three inquiry-based lessons to students in grades three to six in local elementary schools.

Step 2 is an opportunity for students who want to explore teaching careers to become familiar with the middle school environment by observing and discussing middle school culture, and by teaching several lessons to a middle school class. They build upon and practice lesson design skills that were developed in Step 1 and also become familiar with excellent science or mathematics curricula for the middle school setting. A significant number of STEM Education students enjoy their teaching experiences in middle schools to the extent that they decide to pursue teaching in the middle grades. As a result of the Step 2 experiences students generally are able to make a decision as to whether they want to pursue a pathway to teacher certification through the STEM Education program.


Think STEM Education is the right place for you?


After you have registered for Step 1, or if you are interested in registering, please contact the STEM Education Advisor, to discuss schedule and degree plans.


For questions about your major courses, here is a list of suggested contacts in all departments with a STEM Education concentration.