Workforce Education Models for K-12 STEM Education Programs: Reflections on, and Implications for, the NSF ITEST Program
This article proposes a STEM workforce education logic model, tailored to the particular context of the National Science Foundation’s Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program. This model aims to help program designers and researchers address challenges particular to designing, implementing, and studying education innovations in the ITEST program, considering ongoing needs and challenges in STEM workforce education in the USA. It is grounded in conceptual frameworks developed previously by teams of ITEST constituents, for their part intended to frame STEM career education, consider how people select and prepare for STEM careers, and reinforce the important distinction between STEM content and STEM career learnings. The authors take a first step in what they hope will be an ongoing discussion and research agenda by test-fitting assumptions of the model to exploratory case studies of recent NSF ITEST projects. Brief implications for future research and other considerations are provided.
This article appears as part of the Journal of Science Education and Technology Special Issue - Stories from ITEST: Inspiring Young People to Pursue STEM Careers.