STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)

In Spring Lake Park, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education engages students in interdisciplinary, inquiry based, real-world problem solving.  Students use higher order thinking skills to ask questions, investigate and create solutions. They use data to reflect, analyze and refine their solutions.  Finally, they evaluate and communicate those results.  Our approach to STEM is both programmatic and integrated within all courses.

Here is what STEM looks like in Spring Lake Park Schools:

  • Students are “STEM literate” and communicate, think, read and write like professionals in and across all content areas and courses
  • Students use inquiry and the design process to ask questions, design and refine to solve a real-world problem
  • Students collaborate through learning from and working with each other across content areas
  • STEM learning experiences include connections made with community and global enterprises
  •  STEM learning experiences integrate technology into learning
  • Students experience multiple opportunities to create and recreate with the understanding that failing is part of the learning and revising process
  • Inquiry in STEM learning allows for student inspiration, choice and voice
  • STEM learning experiences include at least one of the core areas of STEM
  • The district’s 3D Design process is used as our engineering cycle and guides learning
First page of the PDF file: 3DDesignfinal

Essential Questions and Enduring Understandings

Essential Questions

The following are the essential questions that guide STEM learning in Spring Lake Park Schools:


  • Why can multiple designs answer the same question, resulting in no perfect design?  

  • How do we determine the quality of designs?

  • What is the value of the design process?


  • How do we justify our outcome?
  • How are ideas and solutions effectively communicated locally and globally?

Data and reflection 

  • What factors might prevent us from implementing a prototype?

  • What new questions arise from our solutions?

  • What makes a quality solution to a problem?


  • How does my mindset impact the design process?
  • Why is it important to be inquisitive?
  • How does collaborating with others impact the design process?
  • How does failing impact learning?


  • How does STEM change our lives and the natural world?
  • What makes a problem worth solving?

Enduring Understandings

The following are the enduring understandings that guide STEM learning in Spring Lake Park Schools:

Learn, Integrate and Apply Rigorous Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Content

  • Integration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics content is used to answer complex questions, investigate global issues, and develop solutions for challenges and real world problems

Interpret and Communicate Information from Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (inclusion of ELA)

  • STEM professionals engage in critical reading, writing and presentation of technical information using data and observation to justify or support their outcomes

Engage in Inquiry

  • STEM professionals engage in inquiry to identify and define global issues, challenges, and real world problems; conducting research to develop and refine questions

Engage in Logical Reasoning

  • STEM professionals engage in critical thinking and apply scientific, engineering and mathematical processes to construct creative and innovative ideas

Collaborate as a STEM team

  • STEM professionals share ideas and work effectively with a STEM focused multidisciplinary team to achieve a common goal

Apply Technology Strategically

  • STEM professionals recognize limits, risks and impacts by responsibly and ethically using technology to create solutions. Technology is the result of human endeavor, including but not limited, to digital resources.  

Engineering process

  • STEM professionals apply engineering processes and mindsets to develop solutions for challenges and real-world problems by gathering insight, iterating, prototyping, testing and redesigning. Failure is a necessary component to problem solving
Students with science goggles on
Student building hydraulic crane
Students designing Lego machines