STEM and Society
Material Image
Microcredential ID : 3014
Secondary Science Endorsement: Three-Dimensional Science and Engineering
0.5 USBE Credit


STEM in our society allows students to develop critical thinking capabilities to better understand how science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), impact the human experience in the past, present, or future. This microcredential represents educators' ability to appropriately use science and engineering practices to engage students with STEM and society. This stack of microcredentials fulfills one of the requirements of the pathway for the Secondary Science Endorsement.

  • Utah Effective Teaching Standards > Standard 2: Instructional Design Clarity
    Element 1: Content - Demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of Utah Core Standards, communicating relevance of content, communicating clear pathways to student mastery and designing learning experiences aligned to clear learning intentions and success criteria.
  • Utah Effective Teaching Standards > Standard 2: Instructional Design Clarity
    Element 3: Instructional Planning - Planning high quality, personalized instructional activities that are informed by student progress data, provide multiple opportunities for students to reflect upon and assess their own growth and allow multiple opportunities and means for demonstration of competency.
  • Utah Effective Teaching Standards > Standard 3: Instructional Practice
    Element 3: Relevance - Providing relevant learning opportunities that value students’ interests and backgrounds and allow learner agency and choice in accessing learning and demonstrating competency.
How To Earn This Microcredential

To earn this microcredential you will collect and submit two sets of evidence demonstrating your effective and consistent instruction that engages learners with STEM and society. You will also complete a written or video reflective analysis.

A fee of $20.00 will be assessed once the microcredential is submitted for review.

Science,Technology,Engineering and Mathematics impact the daily lives of humans. This microcredential will explore how STEM workers use their knowledge of science, technology, engineering or math to better understand how the world works and solve problems. Real life connections with STEM as well as STEM careers are both important components of STEM and Society.

Important Terms

● Science: The study of the natural world, including the laws of nature and the treatment or application of facts, principles, concepts and conventions associated with these disciplines.

● Technology: The system of people and organizations, knowledge, processes and devices that go into creating artifacts. Throughout history, humans have used technology as a tool to satisfy their wants and needs.

● Engineering: Engineers use the Engineering Design Process and utilize concepts from science and math as well as technological tools to create inventions and solutions to problems.

● Mathematics: the study of patterns and their relationships among quantities, numbers and space

(Definitions adopted from National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council, 2009.)

Background Scenario / How This Will Help You

Research from A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas (National Research Council, 2012), states that “to develop a thorough understanding of scientific explanations of the world, students need sustained opportunities to work with and develop the underlying ideas and to appreciate those ideas’ interconnections over a period of years rather than weeks or months” (p. 26). This document also asserts that “The framework focuses on a limited set of core ideas in order to avoid the coverage of multiple disconnected topics—the oft-mentioned mile wide and inch deep. This focus allows for deep exploration of important concepts, as well as time for students to develop meaningful understanding” (p. 25). This places the focus on students using the other two dimensions of science instruction identified in The Framework (NRC, 2012), crosscutting concepts and science and engineering practices, to deepen understanding of disciplinary core concepts.

The Framework (NRC, 2012) document is the foundational resource that informed the development of the current Utah Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards (USBE, 2019). Within these standards, the concept of sensemaking of core ideas through crosscutting concepts and science and engineering practices is a foundational principle of science education.

For teachers to include appropriate sensemaking experiences into instruction, they must also understand how to develop it in students. This microcredential stack focuses on teacher understanding and implementation of student sensemaking as a foundation for building effective science instruction in Grades 6-12. Each microcredential in the stack is meant to provide evidence of the competencies necessary to demonstrate effective three-dimensional science and engineering teaching.

Reference: National Research Council. (2012). A framework for K-12 science education: Practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas. Committee on a Conceptual Framework for New K-12 Science Education Standards. Board on Science Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Evidence Options
Be sure to submit the type and number of pieces of evidence specified below.
Category: Preparation and Planning

Submit the evidence listed below to demonstrate your effective and consistent preparation and planning for STEM and society instruction.

Unit Plan:

Submit a unit plan you have used in your instruction that provides evidence for your competency in using 3D science to prepare and plan experiences that support student sensemaking of the impacts of STEM and Society. Your unit plan must include the following:

A. Alignment to at least one standard (performance expectation).

B. The use of at least four Science and Engineering Practices throughout the unit that promotes an understanding of human impacts using STEM in society. These may be historical impacts, present impacts, or predicted future impacts.

C. An opportunity for students to research and learn about STEM careers and the impacts they have on society and/or an opportunity for students to research how science knowledge and practice impacts citizenry outside of STEM careers.

D. Incorporation and clear assessment of an educational activity or service event that provided relevant and real-world exposure allowing students to be actively engaged in real opportunities where they can use their knowledge of STEM to make a difference.

E. (This can be a virtual or school based event, but must showcase student impacts of STEM in our Society.)

F. A rationale for the importance of students actively participating in ways STEM can make our world a better place and/or how students consider the limitations of STEM and how these are evaluated and dealt with.

Use and cite sources to support your rationale and instructional decisions. See the Resources section for examples of sources to cite.

Category: Implementation

Submit ONE of the evidence options listed below to demonstrate your effective and consistent implementation of appropriate practices for instruction on STEM and society.


Submit a 10 minute video of an event you led where students had the opportunity to use STEM to work with, learn from, or contribute to a local or global organization. This video should demonstrate how you support youth engagement in using STEM to advocate for, or work with, local or global organizations.

Your video should be accompanied by a written or video narrative describing the event and outlining the ways that the educator facilitated STEM and society opportunities. Be sure to follow your district/charter policies for student privacy.


Submit at least three student narratives, written or video taped, sharing pre/post ideas, opinions and emotions as they contributed to using STEM to benefit society. These testimonials should demonstrate the impact that your real life service opportunities have on students.

Be sure to follow your district/charter policies for student privacy.

Review Criteria

Criterion 1: Evidence demonstrates multiple opportunities for students to engage in learning about STEM impacts on Society in the past, present and/or future.

Criterion 2: Evidence demonstrates real opportunities (educational or service- based) provided for students to interact with Society in using STEM to make a difference.

Criterion 3: Evidence demonstrates student understanding of Career and College readiness as students investigate STEM careers.

Reflection Prompts

How has creating real life connections to STEM and society adjusted the teaching and learning in your classroom? What effects are you seeing in student engagement and work?

How do STEM and Society connections align with inclusion, equity and ensuring that all your students can access learning? What are the impacts on career and college readiness for your students?

Where do you go from here? What is next in your planning and implementation of human impacts on society through STEM? .

Review Criteria

Criterion 1: The reflective analysis demonstrates planning for, and include STEM and society into SEEds 3D curriculum planning.

Criterion 2: Reflective analysis includes the impacts that using SEP practices to increase understanding of STEM and society has on students' growth as they transform from learning about STEM to becoming actively involved in STEM and Society.

Criterion 3: The reflective analysis demonstrates the importance of the Student involvement of human impacts of STEM and Society in increasing a desire and understanding of College and Career Readiness goals relating to STEM careers.

A Framework for K-12 science education: Practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas

A teacher friendly research document that explains the three dimensions of science including science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas. Each dimension as well as their specific progressions from grades K to 12 is explained in depth within its own chapter. The disciplinary core ideas are grouped into major disciplines (i.e., Physical Sciences; Life Sciences; Earth and Space Sciences; Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science). Each discipline is explained in a separate chapter. The report also describes developmentally appropriate learning progressions. Additionally there are chapters on important topics such as integrating the three dimensions (Ch.9), Implementation into the classroom (Ch.10), Equity and Diversity (Ch.11).

National Research Council. (2012). A Framework for K-12 science education: Practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas. Committee on a Conceptual Framework for New K-12 Science Education Standards. Board on Science Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Danielle Brown

Danielle Brown
A'Lura Hutchins

A'Lura Hutchins
Phillip Lundgreen

Phillip Lundgreen
Corrinn McCord

Corrinn McCord
Elizabeth Stott

Elizabeth Stott
Jessica Wootton

Jessica Wootton
Utah State Board of Education logo

250 East 500 South

Salt Lake City, UT 84111-3204

Phone: 801.538.7807 

© Copyright 2024 Utah State Board of Education