STEM Education

Overview

STEM Education
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

To engage teachers of math and science and prepare young people for the jobs of the future, we must strengthen STEM curriculum and make instruction and learning more fun and more relevant to real world problem-solving. This requires an understanding of how children learn and a rigorous focus on what works in the classroom; both are priorities in the School’s approach to tackling the challenges of STEM education.

The School of Education houses several faculty and programs, such as the Sacramento Area Science Project and UC Davis Math Project, that are concerned with, conduct research in, and provide professional learning in STEM education.

Spotlight Cindy Passmore

Cindy Passmore

Science is not boring, so why do so many middle and high school students think it is? According to Cindy Passmore, assistant professor and an expert on science education, students most often experience science in school as the memorization of facts and procedures with little practical utility or intellectual interest.

“This results in an impoverished view of science as an intellectual enterprise,” said Passmore.

Associate Professor Rebecca Ambrose works with an elementary school student on solving a math problem.
Spotlight Rebecca Ambrose

Rebecca Ambrose

For Rebecca Ambrose, the key to teaching math to children lies in an understanding of how they solve problems before anyone has taught them.

“Kids use informal strategies and can figure things out in very interesting and sophisticated ways. What we observe about how they approach mathematical problem solving can inform the basis for teachers’ instruction,” said Ambrose.

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