Resources from STEM Smart Workshops

The Successful STEM Resource Library includes programs and projects featured at STEM Smart workshops, as well as briefs based on research and recommendations from the National Research Council reports, Successful K-12 STEM Education and Monitoring Progress Toward Successful K-12 STEM Education.
PEEP features a chicken, named Peep, a robin (Chirp), and an irascible, endearing duck (Quack), as well as an extended family of friends and (occasional) foes. The show takes place in and around a large urban park—a place of great wonder and mystery, and a place Peep, Quack, and Chirp are forever eager to explore. Airing in both English (on public television) and Spanish (on VMe), each televised half-hour contains two animated stories that highlight specific science or math concepts and two live-action films that show real kids playing and experimenting with those concepts. These segments not only give kids great ideas—like building towers out of shapes or making parachutes for toys—but also show the adults in their lives that play, science, and math are complementary activities that can be done anywhere, anytime…in the kitchen, in the bathtub, on the porch, and in the backyard.
ASSET Inc. is an education improvement not-for-profit organization in Pennsylvania that supports school districts and charter and private schools in implementing a standards-based science education program through teacher professional development aligned with hands-on, minds-on curriculum materials for grades K−8. The ASSET program is designed to help classroom teachers and their students meet and exceed the benchmarks set by national standardized tests. The curriculum focuses directly on what students need to know to meet those standards. Its professional development empowers teachers, providing the techniques and tools that turn scientific lessons into tangible, exciting concepts that students can touch, see, inquire about, and understand. Independent evaluation results show that fourth-grade students in ASSET member schools scored statistically significantly higher than their peers in science. Based on a proven track record of results, ASSET was selected by the U.S. Department of Education to receive a coveted five-year Investing in Innovation (i3) grant to establish Regional Professional Development Centers across Pennsylvania as well as an advanced professional development program for teachers in rural and high-needs schools.
We present a new approach to teaching core biology concepts (inheritance and evolution) involving engaging engineering design challenges that students solve using a combination of inexpensive hands-on materials, basic mathematics, and simple simulations.
The NSF-sponsored Biomimetic MicroElectronic Systems Engineering Research Center (BMES ERC) at the University of Southern California (USC) has developed an extensive K–12 outreach program. The Center’s various outreach initiatives have brought the excitement of scientific discovery to hundreds of elementary and secondary school students as well as to their teachers and extended family members. Leveraging the substantial resources and human capital of the BMES ERC, educational curricula that are experiential, hands-on, and aligned with California State Science Standards have been developed and implemented directly into K–12 classrooms. Lesson plans are rich in activities that demonstrate the scientific process, thus ensuring that students learn science by doing science. BMES research is used as a focal and reference point so that K–12 science is contextualized, helping to address the perennial question, “Why do I need to know this?
Broadening Advanced Technological Education Connections (BATEC) is the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education National Center for Computing and Information Technologies. BATEC’s efforts in curriculum, outreach, and research reflect the demands of the 21st century workplace.
Broadening Advanced Technological Education Connections (BATEC) is the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education (NSF ATE) National Center for Computing and Information Technologies. BATEC’s efforts in curriculum, outreach, and research reflect the demands of the 21st century workplace.
With systematic structure, organized tools, proper resources, and hands-on real-world experiences, engineering-based learning (EBL) can be an effective teaching and learning model for high school STEM courses. EBL combines well-known tools from science and engineering to create a pedagogical process to enhance student-centered learning across multiple STEM disciplines. Unlike project-based learning (PBL), EBL is a systematic method for students and teachers to find an appropriate solution to a given open-ended real-world problem. EBL bridges the gap between STEM abstract concepts and real-life applications. Thus, EBL has the potential to motivate students to pursue college STEM degrees and join the STEM workforce.
The Southwest Career and Technical Academy (CTA), an Apple Distinguished School, is a Clark County School District (CCSD) public magnet school in its fourth year of operation that has 1,400 students enrolled in 11 different career and technical education (CTE) program areas. The school is divided into two smaller personalized learning communities—the Design Academy and the Professional Service Academy. Within the Design Academy, the Southwest CTA offers the following areas of specialization: Entertainment Engineering, Fashion Design, Video Game Design, and Web Design. In the Professional Services Academy, the areas of focus are Culinary Arts, Hospitality, Travel and Tourism, Automotive Technology, Respiratory Therapy, Dental Assisting, and a Certified Nursing Assistant Program. Within the smaller learning communities, students who have common career interests share English, math, science, social studies, electives, and program classes.
Music contributes substantially to every culture on Earth, and the enjoyment of music is universal. Historically, the primary exposure to music has been through live performance, providing audiences an opportunity for interaction with the musicians and music, but today the vast majority of music is experienced through recordings. And though recent digital audio technologies have had a tremendous impact on the world of recorded music, its fundamental nature remains unchanged: once a recording is made, that single performance is forever fixed, preventing any true interaction with the listener. The activities of this NSF CAREER award integrate research in digital audio technology with educational activities under a common vision of transforming the act of listening to “recorded” music into an interactive experience in which the “performance” responds to the creative input of the listener. This project also supports the Summer Music Technology (SMT) high school outreach program, which uses music technology to attract students to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by demonstrating the contributions of these disciplines to modern music production as well as the creativity inherent within STEM and related fields.
More than 60 percent of all students entering higher education in the United States are required to complete remedial or developmental courses as a first step towards earning associate’s or bachelor’s degrees. A staggering 70 percent of these students never complete the required mathematics courses, blocking their advancement in higher education and entry into a wide array of technical and occupational careers. Recognizing the grave consequences around these alarming statistics, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching engaged with a network of faculty members, researchers, and designers to create and put into the field two new mathematics Pathways: Statway and Quantway.