MSE: STEM Education

Skip Sub Menu

STEM Course Descriptions

STEM Core Courses

STEM 220: Methods of Engineering and Technological Design (3 credits)
Methods of Engineering and Technological Design will discuss the integration of engineering and technological design into the K-12 curriculum. The course will explore the nature of engineering as well as core design principles. Students will apply teaching models such as problem- and project- based learning to plan lessons around engineering and technological design outcomes. Discussion of these models will focus on how to develop students' understanding of concepts and create lessons through which students apply this knowledge in novel ways and/or to solve problems. Through course activities, students will come to understand the role of scientific and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas as put forward in the Next Generation Science Standards. (3 credits)

STEM 235: Mathematical Practices for Every Student
In this course, pre-service and practicing teachers learn how to engage all students in the Mathematical Practice Standards in the Common and Iowa Core State Standards. In particular, we will focus on how to design and enact instruction that elicits and builds on children’s thinking in all content domains as well as how to use curriculum materials, family and community-based resources, and other supports to help facilitate mathematical practice development in children.  (3 credits)        

STEM 245: Equity in Mathematics Teaching and Learning
In this hybrid (face-to-face and online) course, students will examine the ways in which all children regardless of their race, gender, income, sexuality, disability, or any other characteristic can learn and enjoy mathematics. Specifically, students will explore and evaluate dominant views of mathematics, recognize non-dominant ways to engage in mathematics, identify and study equitable strategies for teaching mathematics. (3 credits)           

STEM 274: Science Methods and the Natures of Science & Mathematics
This course will explore science, technology, and engineering as human activities. We will discuss the values, assumptions, major paradigms, and purposes of these activities to understand similarities and difference among the disciplines. Connections to effective STEM instruction will be made including: inquiry-based learning, integrating STEM disciplines, and teaching the natures of the STEM disciplines. Through course activities, students will come to understand the role of practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas as put forward in the Next Generation Science Standards.  (3 credits)

STEM 290: Capstone Independent Study (2 credits)

STEM Elective Courses

STEM 210: Integrated Science I*
This course will help teachers gain greater understanding of physical, earth, and life science concepts necessary for implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards. Specifically, the course will explore: motion and forces, energy, matter, Earth systems, Earth and human activity, Earth's place in the universe, organisms, structure and function, heredity, ecosystems, and diversity of life.  (3 credits)

STEM 211: Integrated Science II*
This course will help teachers gain greater understanding of physical, earth, and life science concepts necessary for implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards. Specifically, this course will explore: laws of physics, theories about matter, waves, our solar system, Earth cycles, Earth and human activity, biotic and abiotic factors in ecosystems, natural selection, genetics, and cell theory.  (3 credits)

STEM 215: Algebra & Geometry for Elementary & Middle School*
In this course, teachers will develop their ability to design and implement mathematics instruction specific to algebra and geometry that is both reflective and mathematically significant. In particular, teachers will expand their own content knowledge, learn to elicit and build on children’s multiple mathematical knowledge bases, and develop a practice of using high-demand tasks in order to enact Standards-based instruction in algebra and geometry.  (3 credits)           

STEM 225: Measurement & Statistics for Elementary & Middle School*
The mathematics content of the course is focused on the following three domains: a) measurement:  money, time, standard and nonstandard units of linear measurement, unit conversion, planar, and cubic measurement, b) probability:  expected outcomes for simple and compound events, randomization, variability, theoretical probability distributions, and experimental probability distributions, and c) statistics: organization and interpretation of categorical and quantitative data through use of charts and graphs, characteristics data distributions, experimental design, and informal inference.  (3 credits)

STEM 280: Introduction to Computer Science
An introduction to the field of computer science is provided emphasizing problem solving using a high-level programming language. Algorithms, basic data representation, language control structures, debugging, and program verification will be discussed. Objects will be introduced, used, and created. Prereq.: Four years of high school mathematics.  (3 credits) 

STEM 281: Introduction to Computer Science 2
This course extends the work of STEM 281. The intent of the course is to understand data abstraction in computer science and to learn how to implement user-defined data types in an object-oriented language. Sorting, searching and tree traversal algorithms are used and analyzed. Preparation for further study in computer science. Prereq.: STEM 280 or equivalent.  (2-3 credits)

STEM 282: Computer Programming
This course introduces students to object-oriented programming (OOP). Students will learn OOP concepts such as classes, objects, encapsulation, messaging, data hiding, inheritance, and polymorphism. Generic programming and OOP design patterns will also be taught. Students will encounter advanced programming projects where unit testing and exception handling will be stressed. Other topics include serialization and GUI construction. Prereq.: STEM 281.  (3 credits)

STEM 283: Computer Organization and Assembly Language Programming
Computer organization and architecture; internal representation of programs and data; assembly language programming; addressing techniques; macros; assemblers; linking; input/output concepts. Prereq.: STEM 281 or equivalent.  (3 credits)

STEM 284: Operation Systems
Introduction to the design, development and implementation of operating systems. Problems of resource allocation, concurrency, file system design, networking and the interface between hardware and software. Examination of actual operating system source code. Prereq.: STEM 283. (3 credits)

STEM 285: Methods for Teaching K-12 Computer Science
Building upon prior computer science coursework and teaching experiences, the aim of this course is to prepare teachers to teach middle and high school computer science courses. Course content will emphasize standards-based instruction in alignment with the Computer Science Teachers Association K-12 Standards both in terms of content taught and the development of practices.  (3 credits) 

STEM 286: Introduction to Computer Systems*
This course provides a foundation in computer systems, including topics in machine-level data representation, computer organization, operating systems, and networks. Issues presented by mobile devices will also be addressed.   (3 credits)  

EDUC 289: School Improvement through Coaching*
This course will focus on the role of a coach in managing and leading school-wide change. Through video demonstrations, real-life scenarios, and a study of related research, participants will gain a deep under- standing of how to successfully communicate with and coach fellow educators. After gaining an understanding of the attributes of a successful coach, participants will have an opportunity to lead colleagues in change in order to apply this knowledge.  (3 credits)

*Chosen depending upon candidate experiences. Advisor-approved substitutions will be accepted.

SOE News