ITEEA The Elementary STEM Journal, Vol. 23, Issue 4
PublisherInternational Technology and Engineering Educators Association, Reston
ReleasedMay 1, 2019
The Elementary STEM Journal, Volume 23, Issue 4 - May, 2019

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From the Editor - Equity and Fairness

From the Editor

Bringing STEM TO LIFE: Essentials for Elementary STEM Education

Equity in Elementary STEM: Equity and Fairness 

by Thomas Roberts

The theme for this issue is equity in elementary STEM education. As teachers, we are all committed to our students’ learning. It is important, though, to pause and reflect on how we can better meet the needs of all of our students. When we think about equity, I hope we focus on fairness, not equality. Equity goes much deeper than just fairness and includes ideas around the access students have to resources and instruction. Equity includes questions about students’ achievement. Equity in STEM includes issues of identity, how students relate to the subjects, and how they relate to the community that does STEM. In short, equity goes beyond looking at test scores and any gaps. It also focuses on how students can access quality STEM instruction, how the STEM community includes students from diverse backgrounds, and how students can use their STEM knowledge to make a difference. In this issue, you will find a range of resources to help implement more equitable instruction. The Books to Briefs piece is a great starting point for a classroom activity about fairness. The featured articles help identify equitable practices that you can use in your own instruction. Our hope is that wherever you are in your teaching journey, the activities and articles in this issue will offer you even more strategies to meet the needs of our rapidly diversifying population of students.

Continuing with this month’s theme of equity, I also want to share some exciting updates we will have for next year’s journal. A new recurring feature will offer strategies for differentiating instruction in elementary STEM. This wonderful idea came from current undergraduate students who mentioned the lack of quality differentiation resources. We hope this new feature helps to fill that gap. We will also offer a new section on coding. More groups and organizations are emphasizing the importance of coding, but elementary aged children can be overlooked. The Elementary STEM Journal is positioning itself to fill this void.

Finally, we will have a new section next year titled “Theory into Practice.” Its purpose is to expand readers’ access to timely research on important topics in elementary STEM education. These articles will all be peer-reviewed and will be longer than our current articles. We hope this new feature will become a source of discovery, validation, and dissemination of highly effective practices and tools in elementary STEM education.

As we transition into summer, I also encourage you to begin thinking about ways to share your expertise in elementary STEM. Next year’s ITEEA Conference will be in Baltimore, and applications to present are now open! No matter if you’re a seasoned presenter or thinking of submitting your first proposal to present, the conference is always a great time to catch up with other STEM educators and learn about new programs, projects, and practices. The Elementary STEM Council’s 2nd Annual Global Design Challenge was also recently announced! After a very competitive first year, we hope to have even more entries in the second challenge. Full information is available on page 6.

We hope you have a great summer and look forward to sharing more great elementary STEM ideas with you next year!


Thomas Roberts is co-field editor of The Elementary STEM Journal and a teacher educator and researcher at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. He can be reached at