Editor's Message

          Looking at my previous message for V2 No.1 in January, it seems as though I could write the same thing again for this issue. The world is still moving forward as all countries struggle to find what is by now the overworked term “new normal.” Educational programs are still trying to define what the “new educational order” will look like. We are still seeing students and teachers in virtual settings while in some locales students are heading back to face-to-face classrooms, but with a variety of safety measures in place, or in some districts and states with no safety measures in place at all. We are still a long way from “normal!”

          Here at SEAMEO STEM ED, the parent organization of the Southeast Asian Journal of STEM Education, STEM education projects are continuing to be developed with an eye to the not-too-distant future (we hope) when they may be rolled out face-to-face on site. We have come to understand what we expected: while virtual instruction and workshops are necessary, they are not nearly as effective as learning in the classroom or with live face-to-face educational specialists modelling research-based, effective STEM teaching strategies in a sustainable multi-year process.

          In this issue, we have five outstanding articles from STEM educators in three countries, all sharing projects or studies that are quite different, yet all contributing to the knowledge base for effective STEM teaching and learning.

          Lindsey M. Swagerty and Michael K. Daugherty share the results of a pilot research study that aims to clarify the role that project-based STEM could play in the elementary grades, model project-based learning for selected elementary teachers, and measure elementary students' change in perceptions about the STEM disciplines. Gregory MacKinnon takes the position that “anchor texts” are a useful means of promoting literacy in developing countries when linked to STEM education approaches. In particular, using these texts with STEM activities have been shown to be effective in developing countries where the lack of substantive child-centred discussions and activities has seriously impacted children’s language literacy levels. Tomohiro Takebayashi and Yoshisuke Kumano report on a qualitative case study in which Japanese students learned about local geology through a STEM approach in their Earth and Space Science curriculum. Amber Meyer, Claudia Burgess, Vincent Genareo, Nina Soto Ramirez, and Alejandro Tovar describe the grant-supported program that recruits and supports migrant agricultural workers to obtain university degrees in the field of education with an emphasis in STEM. The authors provide two recommendations for future STEM Institutes serving college-level students enrolled with similar background experiences. Ruiqi Ying and Todd Campbell explain how the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Compulsory Education Middle School Science Curriculum Standards (CEMSSCS) in China align so that science and engineering practices can be integrated to offer students in China the opportunity for a more interactive and critical thinking skills-building experience.

          I hope you will enjoy reading these articles. As always, we value your feedback and would love to hear from you. We would also welcome manuscripts about integrated STEM studies, position papers, or projects, so we encourage you to share your experiences in STEM education! Finally, my sincere thanks go to the reviewers as well as colleagues who have advised me for this issue. We are fortunate to have a world-class review board who offer high-quality critiques and support

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