Matt Eddy

The new STEAM train...

Blog Post created by Matt Eddy on Oct 18, 2012

STEM,                         STEAM,                     National Core,  


Iowa Core,           standards based grading,               competency based education,    


budget woes,                     do more with less,                     NCLB,


CTE core completers,                ACT,                SAT,


Standards monitoring...


It seems like the bombardment of educational buzzwords is like the flurry of punches from a fast-moving welterweight. Floyd Mayweather Jr. even...


What are we doing to make sure that Agriculture Education -- in all of it's glory -- is a part of the current educational conversation?  We have a lot to offer, but are we in a position to offer it?


Lately I have been reflecting on my changing educational philosophy and how it drives what I do and where I focus my time.


Once upon a time, I was wholly concerned with the 'what' I was doing.  Which activities we did, what projects we got done, in and out of school - you know the drill. The 'how' always got answered somewhere along the timeline of the 'what' and Larry the Cable Guy would have been proud of our "Git-R-Done" prowess.  But "Why"?


I was doing things well, things were humming along, but the more I reflect on it - I was missing the bigger picture of "Why".


In the current educational climate - especially in Iowa -- I think that we need to start asking ourselves about the 'Why'.  And once we can comfortably talk about that - the 'What' and the 'How' start to become rather easy to answer.  In fact - they fall into place like railcars; behind the engine of 'Why'.  And I certainly think that the 'Why' should be the engine on this train.


Southeast Polk recently under took two things that make this blog a little more relative to me.  And I think that more and more schools will start to follow suite (if not done so already) - especially in Iowa.

  • We started a comprehensive High School study to be compiled in about 18 months - the quote is from the Des Moines Register story I can't find online anymore.
“If study produces the expected results by raising student achievement and creating a
leaner, more dynamic, fiscally responsible organization”

               Alternately exciting and scary to be sure...


  • We started talking about how we are meeting the Iowa Core - which is very much (or exactly) like the Common Core.  One particular focus is 21st Century Skills.
    1. How do we get EVERY HS student that walks out our doors these 21st Century Skills -- and how does CTE get involved in that?
    2. How else does CTE contribute to the common core and more specifically - How do you know?  (i.e. - Prove it)
    3. And how does CTE meet Iowa Core in other areas.


And so as this STEM conversation develops, it has always been my feeling that we should add an "A" to it and make STEAM. Exhibit #1, Exhibit #2 (Unfortunately - #3 -  the USAToday Education piece "Let's make STEAM" has disappeared too - Internet gremlins, I suppose).


As results of our Governor's Iowa STEM Scale-Up grant roll in (Some great benefits to Iowa Ag Ed) - The realities of the educational debate are all around us.  I hope that we can answer the bell and be a valuable contributor to those conversations.


Look forward to seeing everyone on the trail.  National FFA Convention 2012 - here we come.  Follow the fun @AgEd4ME on twitter.


What current educational theories are you either implementing or considering?