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STEM Smart: Lessons Learned from Successful Schools

UIC Forum, University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, IL
April 10, 2012

Workshop Hosted By

NSF logo

Co-hosted by



Download the Reports

Successful K-12 STEM Education report

Monitoring Progress Toward Successful K-12 STEM Education

Downloads: Agenda | Speaker Bios | Program Descriptions


Start End Description
8:00am 8:30am

Registration (continental breakfast served)

8:30am 9:30am

Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Lon Kaufman , Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Joan Ferrini-Mundy, Assistant Director, Directorate for Education and Human Resources, National Science Foundation (NSF) | View Presentation
  • Governor Patrick Quinn, State of Illinois [Invited]
9:30am 10:00am

What Everyone Should Know About the Successful K-12 STEM Education Report*

10:00am 10:15am


10:15am 11:15am

Effective Instruction- Breakout Session
The Successful K–12 STEM Education report notes that “effective instruction capitalizes on students’ early interest and experiences, identifies and builds on what they know, and provides them with experiences to engage them in the practices of science and sustain their interest.” This session highlighted programs in which teachers use what they know about students’ understanding to actively engage students in science, mathematics, and engineering practices. As stated in the report, “in this way, students successively deepen their understanding both of core ideas in the STEM fields and of concepts that are shared across areas of science, mathematics, and engineering.”

11:15am 11:30am


11:30am 12:30pm

Equal Access to Quality STEM Experiences- Breakout Session
The report discusses findings that draw a direct line between a nation’s competitiveness and K–12 STEM education to support the next generation of scientists and innovators. Thus, a goal for K–12 STEM education is a focus on the flow of students into STEM courses, majors, and careers. An important dimension of this goal is to increase the participation of groups that are underrepresented while ensuring equal access to quality STEM learning experiences for all students. Therefore, this session highlighted practices that lead to opportunities for all students to become engaged in strong STEM learning.

12:30pm 1:45pm

Lunch and Plenary Presentation: Assessment Challenges and Opportunities Accompanying the New Math and Science Standards: Will We Create Tests Worth Teaching To?: James Pellegrino, Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor, Distinguished Professor of Education, Co-director of Learning Sciences Research Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago | View Presentation

1:45pm 2:00pm


2:00pm 3:00pm

Supportive Infrastructure for STEM Learning- Breakout Session
The Successful K-12 STEM Education report highlights that “research suggests that although teacher qualifications matter, the school context matters just as much [including]. . . multiple factors that strengthen and sustain those learning communities (e.g., school and district leaders, parents, and community).” This session highlighted programs that have proven strategies to develop the essential infrastructure required to support teachers and students.

3:00pm 3:15pm


3:15pm 4:30pm

Synthesis and Discussion
Reflections from synthesizers and participants on the day’s presentations and conversations, highlighting major issues, concerns, and recommendations of participants

  • Jeanne Century, Director of Science Education, Research and Evaluation, The Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education, University of Chicago
  • Janice Earle, (moderator), Coordinator, EHR Evaluation Acticvities, National Science Foundation
  • Brad Findell, Math Education Consultant
  • Karen King, Director of Research, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
  • Michael Lach, Director of STEM Policy and Strategic Initiatives, Urban Education Institute and Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education (CEMSE), University of Chicago