SUCCESSFUL K-12
STEM EDUCATION

Identifying Effective Approaches in Science,
Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Committee on Highly Successful Schools or Programs for K-12 STEM Education

Board on Science Education and Board on Testing and Assessment

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
                          OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.

www.nap.edu



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SucceSSful K-12 STeM educaTion identifying effective approaches in Science, Technology, engineering, and Mathematics Committee on Highly Successful Schools or Programs for K-12 STEM Education Board on Science Education and Board on Testing and Assessment Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education The NaTioNal academies Press Washington, d.c. www.nap.edu

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS • 500 Fifth Street, N.W. • Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Grant Nos. DRL-1050545 and DRL-1063495 from the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-21296-0 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-21296-0 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2011 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2011). Successful K-12 STEM Education: Identifying Effective Approaches in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Committee on Highly Successful Science Programs for K-12 Science Education. Board on Science Education and Board on Testing and Assessment, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. ii

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of dis- tinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autono- mous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering com- munities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org iii

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COMMITTEE ON HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL SCHOOLS OR PROGRAMS FOR K-12 STEM EDUCATION AdAm GAmorAn (Chair), Department of Sociology and Wisconsin Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin–Madison JuliAn Betts, Department of Economics, University of California, San Diego JERRy P. GOLLub, Natural Sciences and Physics Departments, Haverford College Glenn “mAx” mCGee, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy MILbREy W. MClAuGhlin, School of Education, Stanford University bARbARA M. MEANS, Center for Technology in Learning, SRI International STEvEN A. SCHNEIDER, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program, WestEd JERRy D. VAlAdez, California State University, Fresno mArtin storksdieck, Director, Board on Science Education stuArt elliott, Director, Board on Testing and Assessment nAtAlie nielsen, Study Director MICHAEL FEDER, Study Director (until February 2011) THOMAS E. KELLER, Senior Program Officer reBeccA krone, Program Associate iv

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CONTENTS 1 Introduction 3 The Need to Improve STEM Learning 4 Goals for U.S. STEM Education 6 Three Types of Criteria to Identify Successful STEM Schools 25 Summary of Criteria to Identify Successful K-12 STEM Schools 27 What Schools and Districts Can Do to Support Effective K-12 STEM Education 28 What State and National Policy Makers Can Do to Support Effective K-12 STEM Education 29 Appendix: Background Papers Prepared for May 2011 Workshop 31 Notes 35 Acknowledgments 38 Photo Credits v

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