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That literacy skills should be taught in all the content areas is an educational adage that has perhaps existed more in principle than in practice.  But the implementation of the Common Core State Standards aims to change that. Two secondary science teachers have found ways to expand their lessons beyond cell components and Newton's laws to teach skills usually honed in humanities classrooms.      

Prathima Kathiresan, a biology teacher In Washington DC, describes how she emphasizes writing skills in her science classes.  She realized the importance of these skills after helping a student craft an essay on high school dropout rates. And Janet English, an award winning teacher from Lake Forest, CA, found her classroom became "intellectually alive" when her students debated the pros and cons of genetic engineering; she believes helping students understand current events, and not just memorizing facts, is an important component of good teaching.

These two teachers show us that schools need not--and cannot--be stovepipes where STEM and literacy never intersect. 

Ginger Moored