The Notre Dame Center for STEM Education, housed in the Institute for Educational Initiatives, was founded in 2013 to make a lasting impact in STEM education through its research and the translation of evidence-based findings into programs that have broader impacts on student interest in, identity with, and learning of the STEM disciplines. The Center collaborates with researchers and practitioners at Notre Dame and across the nation to help all students innovate, engage, and excel in the STEM disciplines. The work of the Center especially targets students from under-represented populations and students in Catholic schools.
The Center for STEM Education is located in Carole Sandner Hall, at the heart of campus behind the Main Building and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
Animated by the mission of the University of Notre Dame, the Center for STEM Education conducts and applies research to improve STEM teaching and learning for all students, especially students from underrepresented populations and students in Catholic schools.
To be a premier, transformative center for the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, especially for children of underserved populations.
The Notre Dame Center for STEM Education conducts and applies research for the benefit of all students. As part of the University of Notre Dame, the Center is uniquely positioned to engage the nearly two million students in our nation’s Catholic schools, for which STEM education research and outreach are greatly needed.
The Center focuses on two levers to effect change:
Improving STEM teaching quality
Increasing students’ access to high-quality STEM programs. While applicable across the K-16 spectrum, the work of the Center is especially situated across grades K-12
To address the first lever of change, the Center has launched a unique, multi-year fellowship program, the Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows. The Center also helps form STEM teachers through its work with South Bend Catholic middle school teachers in the CREST program and by training science and math teachers in the M.Ed. program at Notre Dame through the Alliance for Catholic Education. Professional development is also an embedded part of many current research projects.
To address the second lever, the Center partners with schools around the United States to host STEM-focused summer camps that address science, engineering, and computer programming, especially for under-served populations. High school students across Indiana are benefiting from increased access and the improved quality of AP courses in math, science, and English through the AP-TIP IN program. A new initiative between the Discovery Cube and the Diocese of Orange, in California, is bringing Next Generation Science Standards-based kits to 4th and 5th grade classrooms across the diocese.