Caroline E. Parker

Innovations and Challenges in Project-Based STEM Education: Lessons from ITEST

For over a decade, the National Science Foundation’s Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program has funded researchers and educators to build an understanding of best practices, contexts, and processes contributing to K-12 students’ motivation and participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) activities that lead to STEM career pathways.

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Journal of Science Education and Technology Special Issue - Stories from ITEST: Inspiring Young People to Pursue STEM Careers

The ITEST program has enabled creativity, experimentation, and cultural responsiveness in STEM education and workforce development and broadened participation in STEM initiatives to Native American communities, underresourced urban communities, girls, and populations underrepresented in STEM fields. By approaching research and evaluation with flexibility and resourcefulness, the authors provide empirical evidence for the value of innovative approaches to STEM education that promote STEM interest and career-related outcomes and that build the foundational skills of the scientific and engineering workforce of the future.

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Promising Approaches to Broadening Youth Participation in STEM

This paper, based on a review of over 200 publications related to approximately 110 ITEST projects, seeks to respond to the broadening participation question in the ITEST solicitation. While all ITEST projects include “broadening participation” as a central goal, we found that publications relating to 43 projects contained specific information on broadening participation. Of those, publications relating to 25 projects had “broadening participation” as the primary focus. Here, we present the range of strategies that project teams employed by highlighting some of those 25 projects.

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Engaging Teachers in Supporting Next Generation STEM Learning

This synthesis paper highlights projects funded by the National Science Foundation’s Innovating Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) grant program that are either primarily designed to support teacher learning or that incorporate teacher learning in a significant way.

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Authentic Inquiries into Local Issues: Increasing Engagement and Building a Sense of STEM Identity and Agency

This paper focuses on ITEST projects that center on authentic inquiries into locally relevant issues.

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STEM Learning Games and Game Design in ITEST Projects

This synthesis is based on a review of publications from ITEST projects, specifically relating to STEM learning games and game design experiences for students.

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