STEM in the Middle Grades

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education continues to emphasize the teaching of skills that are relevant to today’s information driven economy (Jamali, Nurulazam Md Zain, Samsudin & Ale Ebrahim, 2017). Teaching in STEM areas frequently involves real-world problems, problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity that enrich student learning outcomes (Akerson, Burgess, Gerber, Guo, Khan & Newman, 2018; Chalmers, Carter, Cooper & Nason, 2017; Turner 2013). English (2017) argued that STEM has the potential to positively impact student achievement and motivation as long as the integrity of the disciplines is maintained and teachers have the necessary knowledge and resources to effectively implement STEM activities in the classroom. Also, the research agenda of the Middle Level Education Research Special Interest Group (Mertens, Caskey, Bishop, Flowers, Strahan, Andrews, & Daniel, 2016) included several key components that relate to STEM teaching and learning. These components include a call for development of integrated curriculum research and research in problem-based and project-based learning that is relevant to learners. Related research supports the design, construction, and implementation of simple or complex investigations that are critical to effective STEM learning.

Tenets of This We Believe addressed:

  • Students and teachers engaged in active learning
  • Curriculum is challenging, exploratory, integrative, and relevant
  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches

STEM education is a complex idea encompassing multiple content areas and processes including scientific reasoning, computational thinking, engineering design, and mathematical practices (Bybee, 2011). To advance STEM learning and teaching, a better understanding of current research is crucial given the high visibility of STEM education and the paucity of research in this area. A comprehensive review of current research in STEM middle grades education focused on three themes: (a) students: knowledge, attitudes, motivation, and career interests; (b) teachers: preparation, pedagogical practices, and professional development; and (c) schools: curriculum components, after school programs, and assessment.

Students: Knowledge, Attitudes, Motivation, and Career Interests

These research studies, focused on students and STEM education, most often discussed how students develop identities (Tan, Calabrese Barton, Kang, & O’Neill, 2013) and their attitudes and self-efficacy towards STEM subject areas and future STEM-related careers (Guzey, Harwell, & Moore, 2014; Hiller & Kitsantas, 2014). Several researchers argued that the reasoning behind the recent move towards STEM education in K-12 schools is to improve students’ motivation for learning (Degenhart et al., 2007). Additionally, disparities in STEM performance based on gender (Levine, Serio, Radaram, Chaudhuri, & Talbert, 2015) and learning disabilities (Lam, Doverspike, Zhao, Zhe, & Menzemer, 2008) are highlighted through quantitative and qualitative studies.

Student identities are critical to successful understanding and learning in STEM environments. Jurow (2005) alluded to this notion in her case study research on how students’ figured worlds influence their approach to mathematical tasks. Jurrow’s ethnography and discourse analysis found that designers and facilitators of STEM curricula must realize “students participate and are asked to participate in [multiple figured worlds] when we ask them to engage in projects” (Jurow, 2005, p.62). These identities shape students’ interpretation of the content and practices of the discipline. Jurow (2005) also highlighted the relevance of understanding student’s participation in figured worlds from cultural and historical perspectives.

Kim (2016), using a pairwise t-test of 123 female students’ pre- and post-attitude surveys for her study, Inquiry-Based Science and Technology Enrichment Program (InSTEP), found middle school aged girls’ attitudes changed positively toward science when participating in inquiry-based programs. Tan and associates (2013) in their case study explored a related concept—identities-in-practice–among non-white middle school girls and their desire for a career in STEM-related fields. By differentiating the narrated and embodied identities-in-practice, the authors highlighted a fundamental issue in our current understanding of the role of identities and learning: “These girls who, on paper, make outstanding science grades and articulate future career goals in STEM-related fields, could be considered exemplary female science students who are ‘on track’ and who need no special attention, when in fact, they very much do” (p. 1175).

Woolley, Rose, Orthner, Akos, and Jones-Sanpei (2013) reported the importance of using career relevance as an instructional strategy by showing positive effects on mathematics achievement. Their case study looked at how middle grades students used exploratory statistical procedures and multilevel modeling in real-world applications to increase their mathematical understanding. Based on their findings, they recommended school districts focus on improving career development efforts at the middle level as much as they do at the high school level. Other studies have also supported increasing student awareness of STEM careers for both in- and out-of-school settings in order to improve student motivation and attitudes (Chen & Howard, 2010; Wyss, Heulskamp & Siebert, 2012).

It is interesting to note that Levine et al. (2015), using a paired t-test comparison of pre- and post-camp survey analysis, reported that female students tend to change their ideas about STEM to be more positive and are more willing to perceive themselves in STEM careers after participating in authentic STEM-PBL (Problem-Based Learning) activities. Lam et al. (2008) argued for the inclusive nature of a STEM learning environment by highlighting the positive changes in attitudes and beliefs among middle grades students with learning disabilities based on a paired t-test comparison of pre- and post-program surveys. The research studies discussed above highlighted the positive social aspects of project-based learning. At the same time, there are challenges and limitations to using STEM-based pedagogical approaches.

For instance, Mooney and Laubach (2002) researched middle grades students’ attitudes and perceptions toward engineering and relevant careers when participating in Adventure Curricula, open-ended and inquiry-based engineering scenarios. Using a t-test comparison of pre- and post-program participant surveys, they summarized that students must have prolonged exposure to affect their perception and knowledge of engineering. While many of these research studies focused on the social aspects of learning in a STEM environment, cognitive aspects, such as exploring integrated content and practices that are developmentally appropriate for middle grades students, were not discussed.

Teachers: Preparation, Pedagogical Practices, and Professional Development

Commonly discussed research ideas in STEM teaching included the attitudes and perceptions of teachers towards their pedagogical practices (Asghar, Ellington, Rice, Johnson, & Prime, 2012), their beliefs on the role of STEM education within and outside their classrooms (Wang, Moore, Roehrig, & Park, 2011), and the struggle with the open-ended nature of student-centered pedagogy when using STEM PBLs (Lesseig, Nelson, Slavit, & Seidel, 2016). Lesseig et al. (2016) in their case study stated that STEM content delivery is successful through open-ended, inquiry, PBL-based learning environments that are student-centered instead of the current traditional structures that offer limited opportunities for promoting such instructional strategies. They also argued for the necessity of a paradigm shift by teachers from a transmitter of knowledge to a facilitator of learning.

STEM classroom practices are directly correlated to teachers’ prior educational experiences and perceptions of the role of their discipline area in STEM. In their case study, Wang et al. (2011) reported that mathematics teachers view STEM integration as a way to provide real-world contexts for mathematical concepts, the science teacher views problem solving as the key in STEM integration, and the engineering teacher views STEM integration as an opportunity to combine problem solving with content knowledge of both science and mathematics. Teachers in all three of these areas had difficulties integrating technology into their classrooms beyond the use of computers as a tool for background research. Lesseig et al. (2016) further stated,

Teachers had difficulty creating design challenges that were truly interdisciplinary and admitted that the majority of their projects focused on science at the expense of in-depth mathematics, focused on mathematics with only superficial connections to science, or more commonly, focused on the engineering design process with few explicit ties to mathematical and scientific concepts. (p. 183)

The issue was that these teachers did not learn existing connections between and among science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. For example, one obvious connection is the use of science and mathematics content knowledge and skills inherent in the engineering and design of everyday technological products such as cell phones. Given the lack of teachers’ knowledge of these connections, it is important to make these connections explicit for teachers so they can identify and demonstrate them to their students. Typically, teachers are not academically trained in engineering and technology though they are expected to design and teach STEM lessons that include the T and the E in STEM. One obvious solution recommended to address this problem is providing university-based professional development (Lesseig et al., 2016). Other solutions based on a constant comparative analysis of teacher interviews are providing teachers with time and support for more collaboration with subject area teachers and providing access to experts in developing lessons and activities with clear STEM connections (Stohlmann, Moore, & Roehrig, 2012).

Knezek, Christensen, Tyler-Wood, and Periathiruvadi (2013) in their quasi-experimental design-based research focused on improving STEM classrooms recommends “… schools/policymakers/districts/universities should provide additional training opportunities to increase the teaching skills necessary to implement an inquiry-based approach to STEM learning in the classroom” (p. 114). On the other hand, Jordan, DiCicco, and Sabella (2017) in their multiple case study of teachers, found teachers who are content area experts may not be child development experts. Hence, these teachers need additional support in pedagogical aspects such as student-centered instruction, classroom management, and cognitive developments of adolescents. These studies underscore limitations with fast-track alternative certification programs that often reduce exposure to in-depth pedagogical development.

Schools: Curriculum Components, After-School Programs, and Assessment

Research on students and teachers included social aspects of STEM teaching and learning such as attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions towards STEM education, and the factors that influenced them. The central research ideas focused on schools include STEM integration in the disciplines (Guzey, Moore, Harwell, & Moreno, 2016), the different avenues in which STEM-based curricula is utilized with students includes after-school programs (Chittum, Jones, Akalin, & Schram, 2017), summer camps (Mohr‐Schroeder et al., 2014), and the nature of assessment when engineering and technology is integrated into science and mathematics classrooms (Harwell et al., 2015).

The curricular aspects of STEM teaching and learning are frequently explored as part of the design of components, programs, and activity involving STEM integration (Wang et al., 2011). Wang et al. (2011) highlighted, “One of the biggest educational challenges for K-12 STEM education is that few general guidelines or models exist for teachers to follow regarding how to teach using STEM integration approaches in their classroom” (p. 2). Currently, STEM integration is explored through approaches that are multidisciplinary (Russo, Hecht, Burghardt, Hacker, & Saxman, 2011), open-ended and inquiry-based (Mooney & Laubach 2002), hands-on (Lam et al., 2008; Knezek et al., 2013; & Levine et al., 2016), project-based learning (Slavit, Nelson, & Lesseig, 2016), and use of real-world applications (Bozdin, 2011). Slavit and colleagues (2016) noted in their narrative case study that the role of teachers during innovative school start-ups such as STEM-focused schools “… is a complex mixture of learner, risk-taker, inquirer, curriculum designer, negotiator, collaborator, and teacher” (p.14).

Researchers found that teachers faced with integrating STEM in their classrooms lack content knowledge and skills, specifically in engineering and technology subject areas (Jordan et al., 2017; Lesseig et al., 2016; & Wang et al., 2011). In their qualitative analysis of artifacts and videos of classroom implementation, LópezLeiva, Roberts-Harris, and von Toll (2016) recommended collaboration between classroom teachers and university faculty both in the field of education and specific content subjects as a way to bridge the content knowledge and skills gap. Based on their findings, classroom teachers and university faculty collaborated to create MESSY, an integrated teaching and learning experience on motion. MESSY students worked through a process of collective inquiry to co-construct their conceptions of motion. This sub-theme of universities providing support for teachers on content knowledge and research-based STEM pedagogical strategies has been a recurring implication of these studies.

Researchers recommend the use of real-world connections in designing a STEM based curricula. In his mixed-methods study, Bozdin (2011) found that urban classroom learners’ STEM-specific skills such as spatial thinking can be formally taught by incorporating geospatial information technology tools such as GIS and Google Earth. Also, Hiller and Kitsantas (2014) engaged students in a citizen science program in which students collaborated with naturalists and professional field biologists to study horseshoe crab speciation. Through a series of statistically significant self-efficacy, interest, outcome expectations, and content knowledge measures, they concluded that “providing this type of experience as part of a formal classroom program is a viable means for promoting student achievement and STEM career motivation” (p. 309).

STEM curricula are predominantly used in after-school programs and summer enrichment experiences as a supplementary intervention. In their embedded mixed methods research study, Mohr‐Schroeder et al. (2014) listed typical supplementary STEM-based experiences such as field trips, hands-on learning from subject experts, and working collaboratively as a team. Chittum et al. (2017) investigated curricular elements that motivated student engagement at Studio STEM, an after-school STEM program. One of the key findings from their mixed-methods study was the importance of presenting information to students in a way that relates to their lives and the real world. Harwell et al. (2015) in their embedded mixed methods research study focused on another area of promise, the development and evaluation of psychometrically sound assessment tools to measure the impact of STEM-oriented instruction. They recommended developing assessments with multiple choice items that are easily scored and include 10 or 15 items per content area including engineering and technology in addition to typical science and mathematics questions.


To date, research has focused on small populations of students, teachers, and schools, generally a la carte STEM programs used as explorations and enrichment. The central research idea involving STEM students is that they must envision themselves as STEM learners, take ownership of their learning, and engage in learning environments that are meaningful to them and directly relate to possible STEM careers. The literature focusing on teachers highlighted the lack of a proper research-based framework to guide and support STEM integration in an authentic manner instead of adapting it based on teachers’ anecdotal evidences. Also emphasized in the literature is the need for teacher preparation and sustainable professional development focused on both STEM content and pedagogy. There is a real and urgent need for research-based STEM frameworks to inform curricular and instructional changes for preservice and in-service teacher education. The major takeaway from the literature on schools is that both administrators and teachers need to be more purposeful in integrating engineering and technology into mathematics and science classrooms instead of adding supplementary STEM lessons, activities, and programs. The current state of the literature provides middle level educators with a foundation on which to build effective STEM teaching and learning programs that can successfully address the current limitations to meaningful STEM education.


Akerson, V. L., Burgess, A., Gerber, A., Guo, M., Khan, T. A., & Newman, S. (2018). Disentangling the meaning of STEM: implications for science education and science teacher education. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 29(1), 1–8.

Asghar, A., Ellington, R., Rice, E., Johnson, F., & Prime, G. M. (2012). Supporting STEM education in secondary science contexts. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning, 6(2), 4.

Bodzin, A. M. (2011). The implementation of a geospatial information technology (GIT)‐supported land use change curriculum with urban middle school learners to promote spatial thinking. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 48(3), 281–300.

Bybee, R. W. (2011). Scientific and engineering practices in K–12 classrooms: Understanding a framework for K–12 science education. Science Teacher, 78(9), 34–40.

Chalmers, C., Carter, M. L., Cooper, T., & Nason, R. (2017). Implementing “big ideas” to advance the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 15(1), 25–43.

Chen, C. H., & Howard, B. C. (2010). Effect of live simulation on middle school students’ attitudes and learning toward science. Educational Technology & Society, 13(1), 133–139.

Chittum, J. R., Jones, B. D., Akalin, S., & Schram, Á. B. (2017). The effects of an afterschool STEM program on students’ motivation and engagement. International Journal of STEM Education, 4(1), 11.

Degenhart, S. H., Wingenbach, G. J., Dooley, K. E., Lindner, J. R., Mowen, D. L., & Johnson, L. (2007). Middle school students’ attitudes toward pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. NACTA Journal, 52–59.

English, L. D. (2017). Advancing elementary and middle school STEM education. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 15(1), 5–24.

Guzey, S. S., Harwell, M., & Moore, T. (2014). Development of an instrument to assess attitudes toward science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). School Science and Mathematics, 114(6), 271–279.

Guzey, S. S., Moore, T. J., Harwell, M., & Moreno, M. (2016). STEM integration in middle school life science: student learning and attitudes. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 25(4), 550–560.

Harwell, M., Moreno, M., Phillips, A., Guzey, S. S., Moore, T. J., & Roehrig, G. H. (2015). A study of STEM assessments in engineering, science, and mathematics for elementary and middle school students. School Science and Mathematics, 115(2), 66–74.

Hiller, S. E., & Kitsantas, A. (2014). The effect of a horseshoe crab citizen science program on middle school student science performance and STEM career motivation. School Science and Mathematics, 114(6), 302–311.

Jamali, S.M., Nurulazam Md Zain, A., Samsudin, M.A., & Ale Ebrahim, N. (2017). Self- efficacy, scientific reasoning, and learning achievement in the stem PjBL literature. The Journal of Nusantara Studies (JONUS), 2(2), 29–43.

Jordan, R., DiCicco, M., & Sabella, L. (2017). “They sit selfishly.” beginning STEM educators’ expectations of young adolescent students. Research in Middle Level Education Online, 40(6), 1–14.

Jurow, A. S. (2005). Shifting engagements in figured worlds: middle school mathematics students’ participation in an architectural design project. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 14(1), 35–67.

Kim, H. (2016). Inquiry-based science and technology enrichment program for middle school-aged female students. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 25(2), 174-186.

Knezek, G., Christensen, R., Tyler-Wood, T., & Periathiruvadi, S. (2013). Impact of environmental power monitoring activities on middle school student perceptions of STEM. Science Education International, 24(1), 98–123.

Lam, P., Doverspike, D., Zhao, J., Zhe, J., & Menzemer, C. (2008). An evaluation of a STEM program for middle school students on learning disability related IEPs. Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research, 9(1/2), 21.

Lesseig, K., Nelson, T. H., Slavit, D., & Seidel, R. A. (2016). Supporting middle school teachers’ implementation of STEM design challenges. School Science and Mathematics, 116(4), 177–188.

Levine, M., Serio, N., Radaram, B., Chaudhuri, S., & Talbert, W. (2015). Addressing the STEM gender gap by designing and implementing an educational outreach chemistry camp for middle school girls. Journal of Chemical Education, 92(10), 1639–1644.

LópezLeiva, C., Roberts-Harris, D., & von Toll, E. (2016). Meaning making with motion is messy: Developing a STEM learning community. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 16(2), 169–182.

Mertens, S. B., Caskey, M. M., Bishop, P., Flowers, N., Strahan, D., Andrews, G., & Daniel, L. (Eds.) (2016). The MLER SIG research agenda. Retrieved from

Mohr‐Schroeder, M. J., Jackson, C., Miller, M., Walcott, B., Little, D. L., Speler, L., … & Schroeder, D. C. (2014). Developing middle school students’ interests in STEM via summer learning experiences: see Blue STEM camp. School Science and Mathematics, 114(6), 291–301.

Mooney, M. A., & Laubach, T. A. (2002). Adventure engineering: a design centered, inquiry based approach to middle grade science and mathematics education. Journal of Engineering Education, 91(3), 309–318.

Russo, M., Hecht, D., Burghardt, M. D., Hacker, M., & Saxman, L. (2011). Development of a multidisciplinary middle school mathematics infusion model. Middle Grades Research Journal, 6(2).

Slavit, D., Nelson, T. H., & Lesseig, K. (2016). The teachers’ role in developing, opening, and nurturing an inclusive STEM-focused school. International Journal of STEM Education, 3(1), 7.

Stohlmann, M., Moore, T. J., & Roehrig, G. H. (2012). Considerations for teaching integrated STEM education. Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research (J-PEER), 2(1), 4.

Tan, E., Calabrese Barton, A., Kang, H., & O’Neill, T. (2013). Desiring a career in STEM‐related fields: how middle school girls articulate and negotiate identities‐in‐practice in science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 50(10), 1143–1179.

Turner, K. (2013). Northeast Tennessee educators’ perception of STEM education implementation. (Published doctoral dissertation). East Tennessee State University.

Wang, H. H., Moore, T. J., Roehrig, G. H., & Park, M. S. (2011). STEM integration: teacher perceptions and practice. Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research (J-PEER), 1(2), 2.

Woolley, M. E., Rose, R. A., Orthner, D. K., Akos, P. T., & Jones-Sanpei, H. (2013). Advancing academic achievement through career relevance in the middle grades: a longitudinal evaluation of CareerStart. American Educational Research Journal, 50(6), 1309–1335.

Wyss, V. L., Heulskamp, D., & Siebert, C. J. (2012). Increasing middle school student interest in STEM careers with videos of scientists. International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 7(4), 501–522.

Annotated References

Chittum, J. R., Jones, B. D., Akalin, S., & Schram, Á. B. (2017). The effects of an afterschool STEM program on students’ motivation and engagement. International Journal of STEM Education, 4(1), 11.

This research on Studio STEM, an after-school STEM program, explores two different aspects, (1) the student beliefs of science, and (2) the components of the curriculum that motivated students to engage. Both qualitative and quantitative data including science beliefs surveys, a Studio STEM questionnaire. and interviews were analyzed. One of the major findings is that motivational beliefs about pursuing a college degree of the participants of the Studio STEM program were more resilient than the control group. The statistical analysis reveals a significant difference in achievement values, perceptions of achievement, and intentions to attend college. Authors also highlight that participation in the STEM program was voluntary and, hence, the students could already have better beliefs about STEM. One possible solution to rectify this limitation is to compare the pre- and post-beliefs of the same set of students to see if there is a change in beliefs before and after participation.

Mohr‐Schroeder, M. J., Jackson, C., Miller, M., Walcott, B., Little, D. L., Speler, L., … & Schroeder, D. C. (2014). Developing middle school students’ interests in STEM via summer learning experiences: See Blue STEM camp. School Science and Mathematics, 114(6), 291–301.

The authors of this article use a mixed-methods approach to investigate and report their findings on the changes in middle level students’ attitudes, perceptions, and interest in and toward STEM fields and careers before and after participating in a summer STEM camp, an informal learning environment that utilizes STEM pedagogical strategies. The students at the See Blue STEM Camp were exposed to engineering design, visual-spatial reasoning mathematics, neurobiology, environmental sustainability, astronomy, LEGO Robotics, aerospace engineering, mathematical modeling, and neuroscience. The findings include an overall 3.1% increase in middle level students’ interest in a career in STEM while comparing their responses in a pre- and post-career survey. Two themes emerged from the qualitative data, Camp is “fun” and therefore they want to learn more and camp is engaging which further explains the increase in STEM career interests.

Wang, H. H., Moore, T. J., Roehrig, G. H., & Park, M. S. (2011). STEM integration: teacher perceptions and practice. Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research (J-PEER), 1(2), 2.

This article compellingly presents the impact of teacher belief systems on their use and integration of engineering in their classroom through directly collected data from the case study. It is evident that teachers will integrate engineering in the manner that is most comfortable to them and that this decision is highly correlated to their beliefs about the value and purpose of STEM integration. Each of the specific cases clearly correlate to the above claim, and all case study teachers believe that problem solving is the key to the integration process and technology was the most difficult aspect during STEM integration. The professional development for the teachers that the authors used focused majorly on the students’ and teachers’ understanding of engineering design principle and lacks a holistic approach of informing the teachers about the influence of theirs as well as parents’ and students’ belief systems on teaching and learning.

Focus on the STEM subjects (2011). [Special Issue]. Middle School Journal, 43(1).

This special themed issue provides practical exemplars of STEM in middle school classrooms. The articles respond to a vision of a challenging, exploratory, and integrative curriculum and meaningful learning for students as identified in This We Believe: Keys to Educating Young Adolescents (NMSA, 2010). Articles include examples of STEM integration and discussions about issues in building STEM related skills across the curriculum. Articles include examples of using inquiry-oriented instruction (Hagevik; Longo), promoting the use of real-world STEM connections (Kalchman; Zuercher), developing literacies for STEM contexts (Wood, et al.), and an overview of a STEM program implementation in an entire school (Stohlmann, et al.). The issue takes a special look at engineering with an emphasis on technology tools and content connections to mathematics and science that are used to solve real-world problems that are of interest to bettering humanity.

Recommended Resources

Engineering Everywhere.

K-12 Resources for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education.

Resources and Downloads for STEM:

Teach Engineering: STEM curriculum for K-12.

Ten Great STEM Sites for the Classroom.


Premkumar Pugalenthi is a doctoral candidate at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is interested in the cognitive aspects of learning and teaching when engineering and technology is integrated in science and mathematics classrooms.

Alisa B. Wickliff is the associate director of the Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education. She is interested in STEM education leadership and STEM learning and teaching.

David K. Pugalee is professor of education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he is the director of the Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education. He is interested in language and communication and how they influence STEM teaching and learning.


Pugalenthi, P., Wickliffe, A.B., & Pugalee, D.K. (2019). Research summary: STEM in the middle grades. Retrieved [date] from

Published March 2019.


  1. ..using a paired t-test comparison of pre- and post-camp survey analysis, reported that female students tend to change their ideas about STEM to be more positive and are more willing to perceive themselves in STEM careers after participating in authentic STEM-PBL (Problem-Based Learning) activities.”

    The stereotype of STEM being deemed for males because it is a masculine program that most females should turn away from, but this pre and post survey shows that females in the adolescent age range still have an interest to learn further about STEM and pursue a STEM career after participating in the STEM-PBL activities. This statement just shows that STEM is more than just for males, but for everyone who has an interest in it.

  2. This is super encouraging about STEM-PBL as a solution for continuing female student engagement!

    As a STEM professional the following conclusion also resonated with me: “The major takeaway from the literature on schools is that both administrators and teachers need to be more purposeful in integrating engineering and technology into mathematics and science classrooms instead of adding supplementary STEM lessons…” One way to do this is to see engineering as a field of “designers” and technology as a field of “tool makers.”