Scaling up STEM Learning with the VCL
The purpose of this project is to increase students' achievement and interest in STEM and ICT careers through increased success in high school algebra and geometry courses.
The purpose of this project is to increase students' achievement and interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) or information and communication technology (ICT) careers. The project is working with four rural school districts to provide teacher professional development and implement research-based curriculum modules for two mathematics educational software packages in geometry (Geometer's Sketchpad) and statistics and probability (Fathom). The project uses a computing laboratory so that the software packages are hosted centrally by the university and accessible on-demand for teachers and students--reducing schools' expenses for technology staff and software licenses. The project takes advantage of a North Carolina initiative to provide 1:1 computers. Approximately 50 teachers and up to 5,000 students in rural North Carolina will be impacted by this project. Additionally, the project has identified and will continue to recruit STEM/ICT professionals from local businesses to visit and mentor participating students and teachers. The study's research and evaluation uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods in a delayed-treatment design. Qualitative data sources include teacher interviews and classroom observations. Quantitative data sources include measures of teachers' content knowledge and students' content knowledge, classroom engagement, and career interest. External evaluation is provided by the SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.