STEPD-UP, Scientists and Teachers Engaging in Professional Development with University Personnel: Mission Digital Fluency and NGSS

The success of the Nation demands a STEM-literate modern workforce adept at navigating an increasingly high-tech, digital, and connected world (Federal STEM Education Strategic Plan 2018-2023). Maclure et al. (2023) suggests that there is an extensive gap in our understanding of the practical ways in which STEM integration occurs in schools and is made explicit to students (Roehrig et al. (2021). Rooted in convergence thinking, our program promotes and showcases the interdisciplinary nature of STEM and provides opportunities for teachers and students to engage in real-world scientific thinking critical for the STEM workforce. We aim to promote the design of projects of local environmental relevance that engage educators across the curriculum. Our STEPD-UP model can be employed to transform any middle school classroom into a laboratory setting and will promote the next generation of STEM minded citizens into the workforce.

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