STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering, and math—are enjoying a bright spotlight in education. Spurred by calls to prepare students for high-demand technology and engineering careers, schools are focusing more on real-world, inquiry-based STEM learning.

“STEM fits very well into the natu­ral curiosity that kids have,” says Joey Page, principal of the Richfield STEM School. In the November/December issue of Principal, he shared how he transitioned his Minnesota school to a STEM focus—and how his teachers and students are thriving with it.

“We want kids to understand how the world works,” he says. “We also want kids to understand how to make it better. I think that encom­passes what STEM is.”

But your school doesn’t have to be a focused STEM program for you to incorporate ideas that have made Page’s school successful, such as a deep science curriculum or rich staff PD on engineering. These resources can help you take STEM to the next level at your school.

For staff training and development: Watch and share PD 360 segments on STEM.

For STEM facts and ideas for bridging the STEM gap: Read the Wow!Ed Newsletter.

For tips on implementing STEM approaches: Read Successful K-12 STEM Education: Identifying Effective Approaches in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, by the National Research Council. ($12.95 in the NPRC.)

 For advice on how STEM literacy can boost student achievement: Read STEM is Elementary: Why Elementary Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Prepares Students to Beat the Gaps! ($12.95 in the NPRC.)

Read more about the Richfield STEM School, and articles on math instruction, science standards, and teaming with businesses for STEM programs, in Principal.