STEM Education

Andrea Munro, Ph.D., Director

There is a need for excellent teachers with strong content knowledge in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) who are able to teach using culturally sustaining pedagogy. The STEM Education minor is supportive of, and connects to PLU’s focus on diversity, justice, and sustainability and provides a program for students to explore teaching as a vocation. This interdisciplinary program is designed to guide students through courses in Education and Natural Sciences and includes service learning.

The STEM Education Minor, is well suited for any student interested in exploring the vocation of teaching or who enjoys science outreach and science communication. The coursework emphasizes content knowledge, culturally sustaining and relevant pedagogies, and effective communication. The STEM Education Minor will appeal to students majoring in the Natural Sciences who are interested in teaching. Students interested in pursuing a Master of Arts in Education will find the STEM Education Minor coursework aligns with the requirements for a middle level science endorsement, but that additional coursework will be needed. Students planning to pursue a Master of Arts in Education with a middle level science endorsement are encouraged to meet with an advisor in the School of Education.


20 semester hours, including:

  • EDUC 205: Multicultural Perspectives in the Classroom (4)
  • NSCI 350: STEM Education Partnership (4)

In addition, STEM Education minors must complete a minimum of 12 semester hours in the following areas:

Biology & Chemistry (4)
4 semester hours

Choose from the following courses:

  • BIOL 225: Molecules, Cells, and Organisms
  • BIOL 226: Genes, Evolution, Diversity, and Ecology
  • CHEM 104: Environmental Chemistry
  • CHEM 115: General Chemistry I
  • CHEM 116: General Chemistry II

Geosciences & Physics (4)
4 semester hours

Choose from the following courses:

  • GEOS 102: General Oceanography
  • GEOS 103: Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Geologic Hazards
  • GEOS 104: Conservation of Natural Resources
  • GEOS 105: Meteorology
  • GEOS 106: Geology of National Parks
  • GEOS 107: Global Climate Changes
  • PHYS 110: Astronomy
  • PHYS 125: College Physics I
  • PHYS 126: College Physics II
  • PHYS 153: General Physics I
  • PHYS 154: General Physics II

Computer Science & Mathematics (4)
4 semester hours

Choose from the following courses:

  • DATA 133: Introduction to Data Science I
  • CSCI 144: Introduction to Computer Science
  • MATH 123: Modern Elementary Mathematics I
  • MATH/STAT 145: Statistics for Biologists
  • MATH 151: Calculus I
  • MATH 152: Calculus II
  • MATH/STAT 242: Introduction to Mathematical Statistics
  • MATH 319: Introduction to Proofs: Geometry
  • MATH/EDUC 446: Mathematics in the Secondary School

Students are expected to work closely with STEM Education faculty advisors to ensure their program of study meets the requirements. Students may substitute a 4-credit NSCI 495 Internship for NSCI 350 at the discretion of the program chair. The program chair is the instructor for NSCI 495.

Up to eight (8) approved semester hours from supporting majors and minors can be applied to the STEM Education minor. At least 12 semester hours must be earned in residence at PLU.

NSCI 287 : Special Topics in NSCI

Selected topics as announced by the department. May be repeated for credit. (1 to 4)

NSCI 350 : STEM Education Partnership Program

This course introduces students to STEM teaching and provides opportunities for gaining teaching experience in a K-8 classroom. Teams of students will partner with K-8 teachers to co-develop and co-teach classroom lessons. Topics include Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Standards in Mathematics, STEM-specific teaching strategies, issues of classroom equity and access, and designing assessments of STEM learning. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor and completion of one of the following with a grade of C- or above: BIOL 226 or CHEM 116 or CSCI 270 or GEOS 201 or MATH 152 or PHYS 154/164. (4)

NSCI 387 : Special Topics in NSCI

Selected topics as announced by the department. May be repeated for credit. (1 to 4)

NSCI 495 : Internship

To permit undergraduate students to relate theory and practice in a work situation. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as Intern: followed by the specific title designated by the instructor in consultation with the student. (1 to 12)