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STEM and STEAM Education at ODE

Why are STEM and STEAM important in education?

The world is ever-changing and becoming increasingly complex. Our reliance on technology, rapid changes in technology and science, and global and regional environmental change make it imperative that our students have a strong foundation in critical thinking, analysis, and STEM. Global and national economies are also becoming increasingly dependent on a strong knowledge of and base in STEM.


STEM/STEAM pedagogy also builds equity. Bringing STEM and STEAM to K-12 education provides opportunities for all Oregon’s children to become skilled in the fields that are increasing most quickly. This has the potential to boost both Oregon’s economy and equitable opportunities for all of our children and youth. From the Oregon Every Student Succeeds Act, STEM and STEAM move beyond the course subjects that students take and teaches students essential knowledge and skills to live, learn, work, create, and contribute. It ensures that each and every student is known, heard, and supported, focusing on the whole student, their community, the learning experiences they are given, the knowledge and skills they learn, and the beliefs and attributes that they develop. STEM and STEAM often focus on developing a hands-on, collaborative, and integrated educational environment rooted in inquiry and discovery.

“If we want a nation where our future leaders, neighbors, and workers can understand and solve some of the complex challenges of today and tomorrow, and to meet the demands of the dynamic and evolving workforce, building students' skills, content knowledge, and literacy in STEM fields is essential. We must also make sure that, no matter where children live, they have access to quality learning environments. A child's zip code should not determine their STEM literacy and educational options.”U.S. Department of Education

Standards and Instructional Support

In addition to setting and supporting the educational standards, the goal of the standards and instructional support team is to ensure that every learner’s strengths are recognized and their skills are developed through the opportunity to receive high-quality instruction, programming and services.
Standards and Instruction

At the secondary and postsecondary levels, ODE and its partners are committed to a new vision of high school math pathways, or Oregon Mathways, to promote equity in mathematics. The Mathways described in the 2+1 course model are an innovation that high school faculty can use to create equitable opportunities that connect mathematics to student goals and interests as educators plan pathway options to create math pathways options for students. This includes leaning into new and innovative ways to incorporate instructional best practices, such as NCTM’s Principles to Action, to create student-centered instructional experiences. Through grants, six of Oregon’s Regional STEM Hubs are collaborating with educators, ESDs, and school districts to develop and pilot course content in the 2022-23 school year. ODE and HECC are also collaborating with public universities to align secondary and postsecondary mathematics.
Oregon Math Project

You can find links to Oregon’s science standards and a variety of resources at this page.

The fundamental way in which we experience our world and express ourselves is through the arts, and arts education develops essential skills and abilities for successful 21st century citizens. Arts standards and resources may be found on this page.

Oregon recently adopted new math standards and is one of twenty plus states involved in aligning rigorous, K-12 mathematics to college and career pathways.

Well-Rounded Access Program

ODE received a $9.8 million, five-year federal grant in October 2020, to focus its approach to expanding access to STEAM-related courses. With this grant, the Well-Rounded Access program (WRAP), ODE is working to expand Oregon’s existing STEM program in continued partnership with the STEM Investment Council, regional STEM Hubs, and higher education partners, and build capacity to develop and maintain an arts program to support districts across the state in providing students with access to high quality courses in the arts and more fully realize STEAM education in Oregon.
Expanding Access to Well-Rounded Education

Career and Technical Education

Oregon’s CTE programs share a deep connection with STEM/STEAM pedagogy. CTE programs use 21st century technology to support students in acquiring technical skills, professional practices, and academic knowledge critical for career success in high-wage, in-demand careers. Many of these programs have strong grounding in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and the arts.
Career and Technical Education

STEM/STEAM pedagogy is also focused on the continuum of Career Connected Learning, a framework of career awareness, exploration and training that is both learner-relevant and directly linked to professional and industry-based expectations. Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as crucial for preparing today’s youth for high wage, high demand careers, career-connected learning is supported at the federal level. The Oregon Regional STEM/STEAM Hubs have been leading partners in career-connected learning from pre-kindergarten through college, introducing the concept of careers in childhood and improving equitable access to internship and apprenticeship programs in the secondary and postsecondary years.
Career Connected Learning

Computer Science Initiative

In May 2022, Governor Brown directed the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission to develop a statewide implementation plan for computer science education, which would provide access to comprehensive computer science education opportunities to every public school student in this state by the 2027-2028 school year.
Computer Science Implementation Plan

The directive also requires the ODE to award $5 Million in GEER (Governor’s Emergency Education Relief) funding grants to provide opportunities for students, particularly for women and students of color, to access computer science learning and enrichment opportunities during the 2022-23 school year.
STEM Hub Computer Science Grants​​

Tribal History/Shared History

In 2017, the Oregon Legislature enacted Senate Bill (SB) 13, now known as Tribal History/Shared History. This law directs the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to create K-12 Native American Curriculum for inclusion in Oregon public schools and provide professional development to educators. There are numerous STEAM resources already available and in development.
Tribal History/Shared History