Exemplary Programs in Successful STEM Education

The following resources are examples of programs and projects—many of which are funded by the National Science Foundation—that outline elements that contribute to successful STEM education, and that also are aligned with the recommendations of the National Research Council reports, Successful K-12 STEM Education and Monitoring Progress Toward Successful K-12 STEM Education.
GEAR UP is a national initiative that seeks to increase the number of students in specific target populations who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The Pennsylvania Academy for the Profession of Teaching and Learning, part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, provides services for nearly 14,000 students in the Harrisburg School District and the School District of Philadelphia through partnerships with the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency and the two school districts. The program includes activities directed at raising academic performance through (1) early intervention services; (2) professional development; (3) pre-service teacher education; (4) parent programs; and (5) last dollar scholarships to eligible students for postsecondary education.
Exhibit, Other, Philadelphia Launch Event
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act incentives drove healthcare providers to adopt electronic patient record software systems. The resulting demand for IT professionals in healthcare was rapid and has continued to increase, illuminating the lack of a coherent entry sequence for job seekers in the field. Due to the unique, stringent patient security requirements and the singular nature of information technology at the point of patient wellness and care activities, health IT has emerged as a discrete domain in education. Graduate programs in healthcare informatics have proliferated in the past decade. Employers are calling on community colleges to infuse allied health and nursing curricula with information technology content, as well as to produce educational offerings that provide new and necessary skills for incumbent workers. Community college IT instructors who teach in areas such as database management, network security, and data analytics are in need of healthcare-specific content. In addition, career awareness is nonexistent for this high-demand, high-wage sector, which lacks the navigational aids for job seekers commonly found in a more mature field.
Needham Workshop, Other, Project or Program
This PIRE project is a collaborative project that engages each member’s unique resources, including electro-mechanical design (Korean collaborators), virtual HUBO (Bryn Mawr), online HUBO and co-op program (Drexel), mini-HUBO (Virginia Tech), advanced locomotion (UPenn) and human-robot interaction (Swarthmore). Humanoids are bipedal robots engineered to mimic human locomotion, balance, and coordination. The Honda ASIMO, Sony QRIO, and KAIST HUBO are adult-sized humanoids that have captured public interest and give researchers insight on issues including dynamic walking, coordinated motor control, perception, and human-robot interaction. A coherent, effective, and innovative model is presented for international collaboration and will enable faculty, undergraduates, and doctorial students to cycle through Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. The goal is to deliver a three-tier tool set—virtual, mini-, and online HUBO—filling a critical gap that prevents a vertical advance in robotics, namely the lack of platforms to consolidate knowledge, assess approaches, and benchmark performance. This toolset will provide the community with multiple points of entry to engage in advancing humanoid capabilities with far reaching impacts. To reach the next generation of robotic scientists and engineers, the PIRE team is working closely with the Philadelphia Please Touch Museum (PTM) to design exhibits featuring HUBO to inspire and motivate students to pursue science and engineering careers.
Exhibit, Other, Philadelphia Launch Event
Illinois Pathways, funded through Race to the Top, was recently launched by Governor Quinn to support P–20 education and workforce training systems that enable learners to explore their academic and career interests in STEM fields. In addition, Illinois Pathways is set to launch the first STEM Learning Exchanges later this year, a new and innovative network of statewide public-private partnerships organized by career cluster that work to coordinate planning and investment to support local STEM programs. Join a panel of State of Illinois agency representatives and the Illinois Business Roundtable to learn more about this new and important initiative and how it will be implemented throughout Illinois.
Presentation, Supportive Infrastructure, Chicago Workshop
The goal of Illustrative Mathematics is to clarify the meaning and intent of the Common Core State Standards by publishing tasks and tools that support implementation of the CCSS. Illustrative Mathematics is a growing community of mathematics teachers, mathematics educators, and mathematicians that provides leadership and guidance by illustrating the mathematics that students should experience in a faithful implementation of the CCSS.
Effective Instruction, Project or Program, Las Vegas Workshop
STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) integration at the K–12 level is gaining national and international attention. Many U.S. national documents have laid the foundation for the connections between the disciplines. Engineering can be considered the integrator in STEM integration. However, a clear definition or tradition of what constitutes a quality engineering education at the K–12 level has not been established. At the college level, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) has guided the development of engineering programs through its accreditation process, but there is no similar process at the K–12 level. As a result, we are left with a number of questions about the best methods by which to effectively teach engineering at the K–12 level and how that plays into the integration of the other STEM disciplines.
Atlanta Workshop, Project or Program
While the need for more experts and innovators in STEM fields is critical to the success of our nation and is increasing (National Science Board, 2012), the number of students pursuing and completing degrees in these fields is decreasing (National Academies of Science, 2011; National Science Board, 2012). Implementation of programs that will transform education and enhance the pipeline from grade school to university to the workforce is imperative (National Research Council, 2011). The Prime the Pipeline Project (P<sup>3</sup>): Putting Knowledge to Work proposed a solution to this problem by designing, implementing, and evaluating the<em> scientific village</em> strategy for (1) increasing student interest in and success with the study of mathematics and science through engagement with teachers (as learners and collaborators) in the solution of challenging problems that mirror those faced by STEM professionals and that use workplace technologies, and (2) updating teachers in STEM fields.
Supportive Infrastructure, Project or Program, Las Vegas Workshop
To stay strongly aligned with college credit policies and to prepare AP students for college and subsequent STEM careers, the AP Program recently redesigned several science courses. The purpose of such a redesign is to help students increase depth of understanding of essential concepts and develop capacity to use critical skills by limiting breadth of content covered. Additionally, the purpose of the AP Science redesign included the goal of preparing students for success in college-level courses within disciplines and stimulating them to consider careers in those disciplines.
Effective Instruction, Baltimore Workshop, Project or Program
The NSF-funded MSP institute is a project that supports outstanding middle school teachers in their quest to become mathematics specialists. Each teacher participates in coursework that leads to a master’s degree and certification as a mathematics specialist. Following the certification, each of the participants will serve as a specialist within their home school districts, coaching other teachers. The research questions addressed by the project are (1) Can we prepare mathematics specialists for service in grades 6–8 by adapting and refining training and induction programs that have served well in K–5 schools? (2) Will this institute produce intellectual leaders in Virginia? (3) Can these specialists impact student learning in grades 6–8 to enhance student success in the middle school curriculum, including algebra? The core partners of this project are Norfolk State University, University of Virginia, and school systems from Arlington County, Buena Vista City, Caroline County, Culpeper County, Fairfax County, Hanover County, Henrico County, Norfolk City, Portsmouth City, Richmond City, Scott County, and Westmoreland County.
Exhibit, Other, Philadelphia Launch Event
The Institute for Chemistry Literacy through Computational Science (ICLCS) is a National Science Foundation-funded MSP program designed to increase the chemistry literacy and chemistry-related pedagogical skills of rural Illinois high school teachers through the use of authentic and near-authentic computational simulation resources. As a true partnership with K-12 education, the ICLCS is an example of how higher education and K-12 schools can work together to improve student success. For the past 5 years, we have partnered with schools to provide their Chemistry teachers with intensive, multi-year summer Institutes built upon existing, successful curricula and methods, enhanced with state-of-the-art science research data and applications for the 21st Century. During the academic year 124 teachers from 119 rural districts are connected through an online Professional Learning Environment (PLE) to support their growth as teachers and leaders.
Effective Instruction, Presentation, Chicago Workshop