STEM education

The essential components of STEM education

Research yields checklist and rubric for STEM education must-haves

Schools seeking to build, strengthen or improve their STEM education programs now have a 14-point checklist to use as a guide, thanks to NSF-funded research from George Washington University, George Mason University, and SRI International.

The Opportunity Structures for Preparation and Inspiration (OSPrI) research intends to examine “opportunity structures provided to students by Inclusive STEM-Focused High Schools (ISHSs),” with particular focus on schools serving students from underrepresented groups.

While some STEM schools recruit highly-talented students without regard to need or background, ISHSs tend to seek out new STEM talent, especially from underrepresented minority students.

During the team’s research, 14 components associated with strong and exemplary STEM learning programs emerged.

Researchers used that data to develop what they call a “STEM Inventory” schools can use to evaluate and improve their STEM education programs. The inventory defines the 14 components, offers details, and provides a rubric for schools to rate their progress.

Next page: 7 STEM education components

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Laura Ascione

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