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Middle School

According to the California Department of Education, STEM education in the middle grades in California:

  • Introduces a program of study consisting of rigorous and challenging courses
  • Increases student awareness of STEM fields and occupations, especially for underrepresented populations
  • Increases student awareness of the academic requirements of STEM fields and occupations
  • Begins student exploration of STEM related careers, especially for underrepresented populations

Orange County Successes
In Orange County middle school students are being exposed to a number of STEM related learning.

Orange County Middle School Science Initiative – Leadership & Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) (6th – 8th Grades, Inquiry Based Science)
A science program in Santa Ana Unified School District for grades 6-8 which focuses on increasing student engagement and achievement in science classes through use of inquiry strategies, hands-on activities, and science notebooks. LASER includes a strategic plan for curriculum, professional development, a science resource center, assessment, and community/business connections.

Middle Level Science District-Wide Programs
A number of districts have made science learning a priority and have introduced new science specific programs, professional development opportunities, curriculum implementation approaches and strategic planning efforts.

Fullerton School District: Middle School Physical Science/Chemistry (3,000 students)
Santa Ana Unified School District: Strategic Planning, Professional Development and Curriculum Implementation (10,525 students)
Buena Park School District: Strategic Planning, professional development (students)
Westminster School District: Strategic Planning (students)