Humankind faces unprecedented environmental, social, and economic challenges. There is a critical need for STEM education to foster both science learning and the application of learning to problem solving. At the University of Utah, Professor Nancy Butler Songer and her collaborators have developed a suite of interdisciplinary instructional and field-based data collection resources offering elementary and secondary students the chance to create solutions for local, urban environmental issues. Tested in an economically disadvantaged neighbourhood with limited resources, students achieved significant learning gains after involvement in the eco-solutioning programme. A particular success was the increased awareness of local issues and students’ increasingly seeing themselves as scientists.
Songer, N. B. (2021). Training a new generation of problem solvers: Innovation in STEM education. Research Outreach.