STEM for Montessori Teachers
Graduate Certificate Program
Picture an engaged group of Montessori teachers coming together to build a human cathedral. They are using flying buttresses to ensure their cathedral stands tall.
Their next project is home building, making sure the roof, walls and foundation can bear a prescribed weight and handle different water-resistance tests.
It's all in a day's work for Montessori teachers earning a STEM graduate certificate at St. Kate's. They are putting into practice the engineering concepts of force, materials and structures.
Summer sessions plus mentoring
The Montessori STEM graduate certificate program is the first of its kind in the country designed specifically for Montessori teachers. It is offered to all Montessori educators through the St. Catherine University Advanced Montessori Programs.
The program pairs in-depth, hands-on learning for one week each summer, followed by online mentoring and support during the academic year. This personal support has helped participants to integrate the STEM tool kits they receive into their school’s curriculum.
To build more self-sustaining support within the group, the Montessori teachers also form lesson-study groups to visit one another's classrooms throughout the school year. They observe each other in the classroom and then debrief to modify and improve their STEM-teaching techniques.
Students earn a 15-credit graduate STEM Certificate for Montessori Teachers. Members of the American Montessori Society also receive an AMS Certificate for Continuing Professional Development.
Addressing new engineering standards
The Montessori STEM Graduate Certificate program was developed as part of a multi-year grant from the Medtronic Foundation and serves as model for all STEM graduate certificates now being offered through the Center. We are committed to advancing STEM content knowledge among K-6 teachers, both traditional and those with Montessori credentials, and helping them intregrate STEM concepts into their schools' curriculum.
Getting a STEM Graduate Certificate is a tremendous opportunity for Montessori teachers to jumpstart their work addressing science, math and technology standards, as well as the new engineering standards for elementary students. Through hands-on activities and projects, teachers learn engineering concepts and design principles, and how to teach them to students in elementary grades. It also focuses on ways to incorporate engineering into existing lessons and curriculum and how to develop a comprehensive implementation plan to satisfy the Minnesota engineering standards.
Building STEM-certified teams
The National Center for STEM Elementary Education now uses a consulting model to customize STEM graduate certificate programs for schools. We bring our STEM expertise and experience and work collaboratively with key contributors from the school to design a program of study that is uniquely suited to the needs of the local Montessori teaching staff.