The STEM minor for elementary education majors is an opportunity for students to practice teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in an integrated manner to varying elementary aged children. The senior capstone project involves the writing and teaching of a five-day unit to upper elementary students.
Why should I study STEM?Research continues to demonstrate the importance of early introduction to STEM to foster student interest in pursuing STEM careers. Many elementary schools have a STEM focus, and most are realizing that STEM concepts and practices are very engaging for students. The adoption of the Next Generation of Science Standards by many states, and the potential for their adoption in Minnesota in the near future, will make teacher candidates much more marketable as they begin their careers.
What can I do with this degree?
- Teach STEM in elementary schools—elementary education teachers with a STEM minor are highly sought after for teaching positions
- Work in an informal science setting—many Bethel STEM graduates are currently working in settings such as the Science Museum, Starbase MN, and the Minnesota Zoo
- Become a leader in STEM education—principals are seeking STEM leaders to implement best practices as well as to assist with enrichment programs in the schools
What skills will I develop?
- How to integrate STEM concepts and practices in meaningful ways
- Research techniques and data collection
- An understanding of the differences between scientific investigations and engineering design
- Enhanced technology skills and understanding of scientific concepts
- Applied mathematics skills
- Management of an active classroom
- Questioning techniques for effective inquiry-based teaching
- Learning to think like a scientist
- Presentation skills
- Ability to function within an effective team
What unique experiences or opportunities will I have?
Learning Beyond the Classroom
STEM students take multiple field trips, such as to the Science House, Starbase, and to the Minnesota Zoo. In addition, they travel as a group to present their units as teams to elementary students, then revise the units based on those experiences and present their research at the STEM Symposium their senior year. They also receive a STEM t-shirt and a STEM lab coat for their future teaching. Two Bethel STEM students have received the Minnesota High Tech Association scholarship.
Inspire Young Girls in STEM
Each spring, Bethel hosts GEMS: Girls in Engineering, Math, and Science for a day-long camp of learning, activities, and exposure to college students, faculty, and professionals within these fields. Bethel women majoring within these disciplines and/or education are invited to guide a group of fifth-grade girls for the day as they attend sessions from female Bethel faculty and outside professional women working as the engineers, mathematicians, and scientists.
0% of our graduates say they would recommend our teacher education program
98th %ile in nation for elementary ed teacher preparation.-National Council on Teacher Quality
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The Education Department at Bethel University focuses on developing the best educators for the field. Throughout my time at Bethel I knew that the department was supporting my future career through the courses, professors, and atmosphere.Audrey Erdahl '16
The professors I had the opportunity to develop relationships with during my time at Bethel continue to be an invaluable resource and source of encouragement as I begin my own teaching career.Matt Berka '16
High School English Teacher
I believe the education I received at Bethel prepared me for my role as a teacher, leader, and for my current role as principal. The education department's theme of servant leadership provided a framework and vision for me in all I do, regardless of my position. It helped create the understanding that education is not about me, but about the students and families we serve.Nathan Flansburg '97
Current job: Principal, Valentine Hills Elementary, Arden Hills, Minnesota
I am forever thankful for how Bethel University showed me how to love people. Bethel taught me that love is a verb. Teaching in a public school, I am thankful that I can still show God's love through my actions.Bridgette Megears '16
Second Grade Teacher at Anoka Hennepin
Spain Term changed my life. God showed me a beautiful culture and people in need of Him. After graduation, I returned to complete a masters in Spanish and literature, and then taught at a private school in Madrid.Lauren Borst '09
Current job: Spanish Teacher at The Altamont School, Birmingham, Alabama
Bethel's education program has prepared me to be a successful educator. I provide my students with engaging, effective, and differentiated instruction. Bethel has instilled me with a love for learning and I try to do the same for my students.Paige Davis '16
First Grade Spanish Immersion Teacher at Princeton Primary School
One of my favorite aspects about Bethel is the relationships that I found with my peers and the professors. The people that I have met at Bethel have impacted me by sharing their passions and helping me discover mine.Elise Krohn '16