The Notre Dame Center for STEM Education focuses on two levers of change to improve students' interest in, identity with, and learning of the STEM disciplines:
- Improving STEM teaching quality and
- Increasing students' access to rich STEM learning experiences.
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.