Mathematics Connection to STEAM Education

Mathematics is the science that deals with the logic of shape, quantity, and arrangement. Math is all around us, in everything we do. It is the building block for everything in our daily lives, including mobile devices, architecture (ancient and modern), art, money, engineering, and even sports (



Matt Larson, President of the National Council of Teacher of Mathematics states, 

The mathematical practices outlined in the standards of many states and Common Core State Standards for Mathematics have much in common with the scientific and engineering practices of Next Generation Science Standards. Both sets of practices emphasize the importance of understanding problems, developing and using models to solve problems, constructing viable arguments based on evidence, and critiquing the reasoning of others. When we engage students in the standards for mathematical practice, we are making connections to and supporting science education. Implementation of the recommendations in Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Mathematical Modeling Education ( GAIMME; [SIAM 2016]) provide yet another opportunity for mathematics teachers to make meaningful connections to science (and other disciplines) in support of STEM educational goals while maintaining the integrity of mathematics learning standards. 



High Leverage Mathematics Practices in the STEAM Curriculum

Rodger Bybee in his book, The Case for STEM Education: Challenges and Opportunities (NSTA 2013) states:


“purpose of STEM education is to develop the content and practices that characterize the respective STEM disciplines” (p. 4).

Under this definition, a highly effective K–12 mathematics program, built upon what we know constitutes the elements of effective mathematics programs, is an effective STEM program.  NCTM describes eight high-leverage instructional practices to meet the needs of our students.  They include:

  1. Establish mathematics goals to focus learning

    • Effective teaching of mathematics establishes clear goals for the mathematics that students are learning, situates goals within learning progressions, and uses goals to guide instructional decisions.

  2. Implement tasks that promote reasoning and problem solving

    • Effective teaching of mathematics engages students in solving and discussing tasks that promote mathematical reasoning and problem-solving and that allow for multiple entry points and varied solution strategies.

  3. Use and connect mathematical representations

    • Effective teaching of mathematics engages students in making connections among mathematical representations to deepen understanding of mathematics concepts and procedures and as tools for problem-solving.

  4. Facilitate meaningful mathematical discourse

    • Effective teaching of mathematics facilitates discourse among students in order to build a shared understanding of mathematical ideas by analyzing and comparing student approaches and arguments. 

  5. Pose purposeful questions

    • Effective teaching of mathematics uses purposeful questions to assess and advance student reasoning and sense-making about important mathematical ideas and relationships.

  6. Build procedural fluency from conceptual understanding

    • Effective teaching of mathematics builds fluency with procedures on a foundation of conceptual understanding so that students, over time, become skillful in using procedures flexibly as they solve contextual and mathematical problems.

  7. Support productive struggle in learning mathematics

    • Effective teaching of mathematics consistently provides students, individually and collectively, with opportunities and supports to engage in a productive struggle as they grapple with mathematical ideas and relationships.

  8. Elicit and use evidence of student thinking

    • Effective teaching of mathematics uses evidence of student thinking to assess progress toward mathematical understanding and to adjust instruction continually in ways that support and extend learning.

Silvestri Jr. High School 

1055 Silverado Ranch Boulevard

Las Vegas, NV 89183

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