Skip to main content

Resources

Resources

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.

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...
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...
Several government funded projects are developing facet-based, diagnostic formative assessments to support teachers in understanding and addressing their students’ conceptual strengths and weaknesses and to promote students’ conceptual change in science at the middle school level, high school level and beyond. These projects bring together experts in assessment, science education, science teaching, and science content from SRI International, FACET Innovations, Sonoma State University,...
Critical Zone Observatories (CZOs), funded by the National Science Foundation, are environmental laboratories established to study the chemical, physical and biological processes that shape the Earth’s surface. Little is known about how these processes are coupled and at what temporal and spatial scales. CZO research seeks to understand these couplings through monitoring and modeling at the watershed scale. As part of this research initiative, CZO sites are encouraged to bring research to K–12...
The PBS TV series and website Design Squad, and its spin off series Design Squad Nation, are designed to get its viewers involved in engineering through an integrated media experience and grassroots outreach campaign. Design Squad is a reality competition series where six teenagers learn to think smart, build fast, and contend with a wild array of engineering challenges. With Design Squad Nation, engineer co-hosts Judy and Adam travel across the country, working side by side with kids to turn...
Building upon previous collaborative work with small humanoid robots, this project is embarking on an ambitious new research project involving multiple adult-sized humanoids. There is an overwhelming disparity in terms of resources devoted to humanoids research in the United States versus research in other countries that have heavily invested in this area of robotics. The goal of this ambitious five-year project is to rapidly advance U.S. humanoid research by developing a common open platform....
Exploring Computer Science (ECS) is a computer science (CS) curriculum designed in response to research findings about the severe limitations of Advanced Placement CS in engaging more than a narrow band of students. ECS is a year-long college-preparatory course, consisting of six units, including problem-solving, Web design, introduction to programming, robotics and data analysis. Designed to introduce students to the foundational, creative, collaborative, interdisciplinary, and problem-solving...
FLEXE is a science education project that helps students gain an understanding of local and extreme environments, the interconnected Earth system and the process of science. As part of the project, students collect data in their local environment and compare them with equivalent data from partner schools and from an extreme environment, namely the deep sea. Hydrothermal vents and cold seeps are among the extreme environments being compared. Students participate in three main activities: (1)...
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...
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...
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...
IQWST, as the “next generation” of middle school curricula, was designed to enable teachers with diverse knowledge and experiences to teach science effectively to students with a variety of backgrounds and strengths. IQWST materials align with national standards, are rooted in principles of project-based scientific inquiry, focus on science’s “big ideas,” and employ research-based practices to promote students’ science content and science literacy learning. This coordinated sixth- to eighth-...
The recent NRC report emphasizes the important role that school leaders play in promoting and supporting STEM learning in their schools. They play a role in setting a vision for STEM learning and teaching, identifying and hiring highly qualified teachers, providing and/or identifying relevant professional development opportunities, and establishing and sustaining school structures that support high-quality instruction. EDC has been engaged in a long-standing program of research and development...
The LPPSync project (Learning Progress Profiles Synchronized for Networked Wireless Devices) at North Carolina State University is developing an Interactive Diagnostic Assessment System for K–8 mathematics. LPPSync integrates empirically validated mathematics learning trajectories with corresponding diagnostic assessments that focus on critical topics of rational number reasoning—the foundation of algebraic preparation. The environment is delivered through Web-browsers on mobile devices (...
Model My Watershed is a three-year project aimed at developing, testing, and disseminating a watershed-modeling toolset for secondary students. Designed to build on Google Earth, this tool provides a dynamic interface where students can add data, modify environmental conditions, work in a collaborative online learning environment, and be exposed to STEM careers. The design is based on the belief that students should have an authentic, exciting, intuitive, and interactive tool set that allows...
The Franklin Institute is committed to engaging teachers, students, and families in science learning. Parent Partners in School Science (PPSS) was developed by The Franklin Institute, in partnership with the School District of Philadelphia, as a science education and parent involvement program, with the goal of connecting a child’s home and school life through science learning. Through events and take-home activities, adults and children think about their everyday lives like scientists—...
MESA initiative has a 40-year history of successfully engaging and sustaining minority and disadvantaged students’ participation in STEM coursework, from elementary school to college campuses. Temple University has been awarded the national license to coordinate MESA in Pennsylvania, joining prestigious institutions like the University of California, University of Washington, the Johns Hopkins APL, University of Denver, and others offering statewide STEM initiatives to underrepresented groups....
PTR is a teacher preparation program for STEM professionals and recent graduates who want to teach mathematics and science in Philadelphia’s high-needs schools. For a full year, PTR participants work alongside experienced math/science teachers while taking courses at University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education to earn both a master’s degree as well as Pennsylvania teacher certification. Participants commit to teach in Philadelphia public schools for at least three years after the...
Project-based Inquiry Science (PBIS) is a recently published middle school science curriculum that emphasizes learning science and engineering through projects. Funded by the National Science Foundation and published by It’s About Time, PBIS materials are aligned with the National Science Education Standards and with most state standards documents. PBIS is becoming the middle school science curriculum for students across the country, as it incorporates research-based pedagogies into the...
CyGaMEs invites youth ages nine and older to play its award-winning, online, instructional videogame Selene to learn the Solar System’s basic geological processes: “Blast away at what will quickly become a full-fledged, pockmarked moon like our own. Replicate the Moon’s 4.5-billion-year history. Follow with our MoonGazers hands-on activities.” Prepared with new knowledge that makes Moon viewing meaningful, Selene players go outside to explore the Moon from their own backyards. CyGaMEs, a...
SimCalc has pursued a mission of “democratizing access to the mathematics of change and variation,” which translates to introducing students in grades 6–12 to the powerful ideas underlying calculus while simultaneously enriching the mathematics already covered at those grade levels. SimCalc signature MathWorlds software gives students the ability to sketch graphs and see resulting motions. In addition to MathWorlds, the digital textbook, Dynabook, combines elements from SimCalc, Geometer’s...
SpelBots are a team of female, African American students who conduct robotics research, compete in worldwide robotics and computer science competitions, and conduct K–12 outreach. The long-range vision of this project is to leverage the SpelBots activities to provide career role models in cutting-edge computer science and robotics from underrepresented communities. This project will bring attitude-changing computer science and robotics showcase presentations to underrepresented students and...
The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is a continental-scale ecological observation platform. NEON contributes to global understanding and decisions in a changing environment using scientific information about continental-scale ecology obtained through integrated observations and experiments. NEON is dedicated to engaging and supporting a variety of audiences in learning about and using ecological data. NEON’s education goals include (1) promoting and facilitating public...
This project introduces fourth- and fifth-grade students and teachers to engineering design and associated science and mathematics concepts by developing and implementing a new, scalable, personal fabrication laboratory—the Classroom FabLab—and supporting curricular activities. Cornell University is developing the Fab@School 3-D fabricator to support the project. The goal is to develop an open-source fabricator for schools that can be assembled in an afternoon for less than $1,000 in materials...
Philadelphia AMP, now in its 17th year of operation, represents a diverse tri-state partnership of public and private, two- and four-year, research and non-research, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and majority institutions. Established with funding from the National Science Foundation in 1994, the Alliance’s mission is to substantially increase the quantity and quality of African American, Hispanic, and Native American students earning baccalaureate and advanced degrees in...
The Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch program focuses on increasing the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) pipeline through an innovative underwater robotics program for middle and high school students. Students learn about STEM disciplines, with a focus on naval engineering, by building an underwater ROV (remotely operated vehicle) called the SeaPerch. The culminating event is the Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge, jointly hosted by The American Society of Naval...
MSPGP worked with college faculty and expert teachers to design and implement comprehensive research-based strategies to improve learning for secondary and post-secondary students. Over five years, the MSPGP brought together 4,000 teachers and faculty from 46 school districts and 13 institutions of higher education in the Greater Philadelphia region. The MSPGP utilized a novel "Core Connector" organizational structure that provided a way to facilitate and grow partnerships between...
TJHSST is the product of a partnership between Fairfax County Public Schools and local business to improve education in science, mathematics, and technology. This unique public school offers a comprehensive program that focuses on scientific, mathematical, and technological fields. The core skills and values infused throughout the curriculum emphasize and promote critical inquiry and research, problem-solving skills, intellectual curiosity, and social responsibility. Requirements for the TJHSST...
Doppler On Wheels (DOW) is an educational and research facility funded by the National Science Foundation. DOW demonstrates how cutting edge meteorological systems are provided to educational and research projects. DOW provides mobile Doppler weather radars that explore rare, short-lived, and small-scale phenomena, focusing on severe weather including hurricanes, tornadoes, and lake-effect snows. The DOW systems include two mobile X-band Doppler on Wheels and the 6–12 beam “Rapid Scan DOW.” The...
Computational thinking practices are critical to enable next-generation advances in all STEM disciplines. Yet, while STEM disciplines ubiquitously require core competencies, almost none do so in computing. The NSF Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate supported the College Board in the development of a new Advanced Placement course appropriate for all STEM students: CS Principles. The curriculum targets students’ development of computational thinking skills by focusing on...
Washington State LASER is a public-private partnership using a collaborative model for catalyzing and sustaining research-based inquiry for grades K–12 at the school, district, region, and state levels. Key elements of support include ongoing professional development, effective program and student assessment, a network of science materials centers, and the development of strong administrative and community supports. Washington State LASER is an “opt in” program. Based on a distributed...
The West Philly EVX Team includes students from the West Philadelphia High School Auto Academy and The Sustainability Workshop, both in Philadelphia, Pa. The West Philly Hybrid X Team has been building and competing with alternative fuel vehicles for the past 13 years. The car on display is the EVX GT, a hybrid sports car that the team built for the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE competition. In 2011, the team and the GT won Green Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International in New York. This...