STEM Smart: An NRC Report and NSF Initiative

Learn about the process, findings and recommendations of the 2011 NRC report, Successful K-12 STEM Education: Identifying Effective Approaches in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. * This is a one hour session with the option to stay in the room for informal discussion afterwards.

Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 9:45am to 11:45am

In this presentation, Wilson will describe the process of writing the NRC’s letter report, Successful K-12 STEM Education: Identifying Effective Approaches in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. To carry out its charge, the committee reviewed existing research on STEM-focused schools and conducted a public workshop in May 2011 in order to identify a range of goals for highly successful education in STEM, explore the criteria for identifying success relative to those goals, and classify strategies and educational practices that K-12 schools and districts use to achieve success in STEM, and identify scalable best practices associated with those strategies and practices. The letter report offers two sets of recommendations, geared for schools and districts, and for state and national policy-makers. Among the recommendations, districts are urged to consider the adoption of STEM-focused schools. Three models for such schools are identified: selective STEM schools for academically talented students, who need to apply for admission; inclusive STEM high schools, often referred to as "magnet schools;" and schools and programs with STEM-focused career and technical education. Policymakers are uared to elevate science to the same level of importance as reading and mathematics, and to develop effective systems of assessment that are aligned with the next generation of science standards, as well as investing in a coherent, focused, and sustained set of supports for STEM teachers. As a follow up to the letter report, the NRC has convened a project, Evaluation Framework for Successful K-12 STEM Education: A Consensus Study, which was mandated by Congress and which will issue a report in November 2012.