What is STEMS²?

hiking among ferns
Learning Journey in Waikamoi Forest, Maui

STEMS² integrates science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with the social sciences and sense of place (S²). At the heart of STEMS² is a network of individuals and community partners who seek to foster student engagement and achievement via real-world application of interdisciplinary content knowledge that supports the social emotional development required for community and civic engagement in addition to promoting skills related to college and career readiness.

stems2 diagram

Learn more about the origins and journey of STEMS².

stems classroom
stems classroom

An Educational Movement

STEMS2 Components Diagram

STEMS² is a place and culture-based construct that is composed of theory, pedagogy and a growing network.


STEMS² theory is an ever growing body of research grounded in four major bodies of literature: 1) STEM education, 2) cultural-based and multicultural education, 3) sense of place and 4) place-based education, and indigenous education.

STEMS² Research


STEMS² experience is grounded in the Hawaiian proverbs of Ma ka hana ‘ike – through doing one learns and A’o – that teaching and learning is a reciprocal relationship in which one is both a learner and a teacher at all times.

STEMS² Curriculum


The STEMS² network is made up of partners from around the world who share a passion for building integrated educational spaces that connect community, culture and place.

Network Map

Participant Perspectives on STEMS²

STEMS² participants describe STEMS²

Community partner Herb Lee describes who STEMS² is for