STEM education provides many opportunities and challenges. How can our practice evolve to meet the needs of 21st-century learners?

Highly Successful Schoole or Programs for K-12 STEM Education

Bonnie Bracey Sutton Teacher Agent of Change, Power of US Foundation

Highly Successful Schools or Programs for K-12 STEM Education: A Workshop

Project Overview

To address questions raised in Congress about what constitutes a successful STEM school, the National Science Foundation has asked the National Research Council (NRC) to convene a committee of experts in the evaluation of schools and educational programs, learning and teaching in STEM, teacher professional development, educational policy, and diversity and equity in STEM. Under the leadership of the NRC’s Board on Science Education and Board on Testing and Assessment, the committee drew on existing research to prepare and hold a workshop that:

identify a range of goals for highly successful education in STEM K-12;
explore the criteria for identifying success relative to those goals; and
classify the strategies and educational practices that K-12 schools and districts use to achieve success in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics (STEM-themed magnet schools, schools within schools, STEM specialty schools, partnerships with business and community organizations, etc.), and identify scalable best practices associated with those strategies and educational practices.
The committee approached this task mindful of the difficulty of identifying highly successful schools, strategies or teaching practices in general, and with the assumption that while education in the STEM disciplines may have some idiosyncratic elements, schools that are highly successful in one or more of the STEM disciplines will exhibit many characteristics of any successful school. Under this grant, the committee planned the workshop, developed a framework for the workshop that includes strategies/educational practices, goals, and criteria for successful education in the STEM disciplines to guide the presentations and discussions at the workshop. The workshop shed light on why schools are successful and facilitated decisions about the replication of proven successful strategies and practices.

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