Schools are balancing STEM classes with social studies, and the result is a shift in classes addressing technical areas, while including relevant information in other subjects.
In Sheridan County School District, the Educate to Innovate Initiative was established in 2009, responding to low math and science scores and the demand of jobs in the technology sector. One of the challenges facing the district has been to meet this demand while not neglecting other course areas, such as social sciences.
Despite the statewide focus on STEM subjects, Tyson Emborg, a seasoned teacher of Advanced Placement government at Sheridan High School, says that the humanities are not suffering, and the district has done a great job.
“It really hasn’t diminished our subject at all,” Emborg said. “They haven’t reduced our students’ classroom hours in (social sciences) since STEM came along.”
Emborg also noted that the We The People team, which tests students on their knowledge of the constitution, has consistently been top ranked in the state.
In addition, the arts programs have also flourished.
“It hasn’t had a detrimental impact on the arts programs at our schools,” said Mitch Craft, assistant superintendent of curriculum. “We have a very strong arts program here.”