Before serving as a secondary and university educator of English, modern languages, foreign language methods, and world cultures in Nebraska, Alicia Dallman Shoemaker taught in South America and Europe. As a Fulbright scholar, Alicia incorporated STEAM initiatives in her curriculum through the Model United Nations Global Classrooms program. Her students garnered authentic learning experiences by traveling abroad as well as interacting with dignitaries from six continents to participate in international project-based learning. While facilitating the Global Classrooms program, Alicia began to understand the role language acquisition plays in STEM career pathways as well as the global nature of numerous STEM initiatives.
Alicia’s engagement with the Nebraska Department of Education STEM experience in 2016 reinforced the link she noted between language study and STEM innovation as well as broadened her understanding of how STEM could become a curricular staple. After collaborating with colleagues and experts at the Nebraska Department of Education STEM experience, Alicia began to integrate additional STEM content into advanced modern language units. She is now exploring how STEM content can be maximized as a context for foreign language learning by creating modules that will be shared beyond her classrooms and country.
From a holistic learning lens, the Nebraska Department of Education STEM experience also inspired Alicia to establish a guest speaker career series for high school students with her colleagues. The guest speakers include representatives from STEM-centered professions. The career speaker series is part of a personalized learning plan template that Alicia piloted in early 2016 and is now facilitating with others in her district.
Alicia has also made STEM a cornerstone in her “casa” with her adventurous husband Benjamin. They are expecting their first child and Alicia has investigated as well as reviewed STEM toys and programs for infants from various nations.