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Defined STEM

Page history last edited by Kelly Ray 8 years, 5 months ago








Table of Contents:

Visit the Defined STEM Database:
We recommend that you open the database in a new tab, and refer to it as you review this Snapshot. 
The database remote access username & password are needed if you are outside the BCPS network.



Defined STEM is a web-based application designed to provide learning opportunities for students by promoting rigorous and relevant connections between classroom content, and by highlighting STEM content and real-world applications including career pathways. Engaging media content and a structured process including all necessary teaching and learning materials allows teachers to connect STEM with existing lessons, interdisciplinary content, and standards-based curriculum. 

Target Audience:  K-12  *BCPS subscribes for Middle and High Schools Only

Content Connections:  Science, Math, Social Studies, English/Language Arts, Careers 




Standards Alignment


Content & Features

  • Defined STEM Walk-through for Educators (video) 
  • Features:
    • Learning Connections/Video Resources:  Defined STEM provides a wealth of video resources that provide relevance and contextual applications for content areas including science, technology, mathematics, engineering, social studies, health and the arts and humanities. The videos are designed to provide students with an opportunity to view careers based upon the content knowledge and skills necessary to succeed within the career. 
    • Performance Tasks:  The performance task can serve as an authentic assessment that provides many opportunities for students to demonstrate understanding. Since the “one size fits all” classroom minimizes student success, both the performance task and associated content have been designed to provide opportunities for all learners based upon the teacher’s knowledge of his/her students. Supporting the performance task are videos, simulations, and learning connections meant to support mixed ability levels, interests, and foundational knowledge.
    • Language Tasks:  The language tasks are designed to allow students to produce narrative writing pieces that are connected with content areas and relevant issues. The tasks provide online informational and argumentative resources for students to review prior to engaging in the writing process. All of the language tasks are designed using a similar template. Two types of language tasks are present. The tasks are either informational or argumentative. Each task contains a scoring guide aligned with the Common Core College and Career Anchor Standards for Reading and Writing. 
    • Products:  The products within each task are designed using the multiple intelligences. The products provide various opportunities for students to demonstrate understanding. Based upon each individual learner and/or individual class, the educator can make appropriate instructional decisions for product development.
    • Simulations: Simulations are designed to provide interactive opportunities for students to apply learning through the manipulation of variables. Each simulation allows the students to manipulate one or more variables to gather data that allows the students to better understand content and concepts.
    • Task Center: The task center allows teachers to create, edit, and share new and existing performance and literacy tasks. Educators will have the ability to create a blank performance/literacy task or "Copy/Edit" from an existing performance task to modify one of the Defined STEM tasks. Within the Task Center, there is a panel that will show you tasks that an educator has created or modified.  



  • Search by Keyword, Grade Range & Subject, Career Cluster
    • Filter Search Results by Grade Level, Performance Tasks, Products, Literacy Tasks, Connections, Videos 
  • Browse Latest Content, by Performance Task, Language/Literacy Task, or Product
  • View All Videos or All Simulations 


Learning Supports & Tools


  • Videos include Closed Captioning and Guiding Questions which focus student attention for active viewing. 
  • Performance Tasks are are aligned with Essential Questions and associated Big Ideas that consider student knowledge and understanding. Tasks are structured using the G.R.A.S.P. template (Goal, Role, Audience, Situation, Products) based on the “Understanding by Design” framework. Exemplars and Rubrics are provided for all Products. 
  • Language/Literacy Tasks include targeted Web sites and Tier III Vocabulary


Tutorials & Guides



Educator Resources


  • Classroom Strategies:  Overarching strategies for using Defined STEM in the classroom 
  • Direct Linking:  Directions for creating a direct link to a specific article or resource for curriculum materials or digital learning environments. 



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