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STEM pattern

STEM pattern

STEM School Transformation

stem school transformations

Project Title: Investigating the impact of an organizational change from a K-8 Catholic school to a STEM academy

Research Team: Matt Kloser, Matt Wilsey, Dawn Weseli, Erin Lavin, Michael Comuniello, Julie Dallavis

Funder & Grant Size: Institute for Educational Initiatives $5,000

The formation of STEM-focused schools has been a priority for local school systems and state and national policymakers. Yet despite calls for 1,000 new STEM-focused schools within the next decade, little consensus exists on what defines a STEM-focused school and the process by which they come to be. As greater emphasis is placed on the formation of STEM-focused schools we, as a research field, must better understand the process by which STEM-focused schools develop and how such transformations impact student outcomes and teacher practices in order to improve their outcomes across different contexts.

Our research explores the emergence of a yet-studied new phenomenon - the formation of STEM-focused Catholic schools.  Our research addresses the following research questions:

    1. What factors define a Catholic STEM-focused school?
      1. What are the critical components of a Catholic STEM-focused school?
      2. How do the components of a Catholic STEM-focused school compare to public STEM-focused schools?
    2. What is the impact of a Catholic STEM-focused school on student outcomes (interest & learning)?
    3. How does a STEM transformation impact the nature of schooling?

The current research involves longitudinal case studies with four K-8 Catholic schools in the states of Washington, Virginia, and Florida.