David L. Blustein

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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Examining Urban Students’ Constructions of a STEM/Career Development Intervention Over Time

Using consensual qualitative research, the study examines urban high school students’ reactions to a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) enrichment/career development program, their resources and barriers, their perspectives on the impact of race and gender on their career development, and their overall views of work and their futures. The sample included nine students who participated in a semistructured interview at the end of the 2-week summer program and again 12–18 months later.

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