Tech Report May 1, 2016
Next Generation STEM Learning for All: Envisioning Advances Based on NSF Supported Research
Parker, C.E., Pillai, S., Roschelle, J. (2016). Next Generation STEM Learning for All: A report from the NSF supported forum. Waltham, MA: Education Development Center.
Prominent scientists in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning research came together with school, community, and policy leaders at the National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported STEM Forum, held on November 9, 2015, in Washington, DC, to address this and other questions related to STEM learning. Attendees discussed both a specific opportunity, framed by President Obama’s call for Next Generation STEM High Schools (The White House, 2015), and strategies to improve STEM learning in all types of schools and communities, whether or not the communities are part of the Next Generation STEM High Schools movement. What made the Forum unique was the comprehensiveness and quality of the research as well as the breadth of stakeholders from education, policy, innovation, and research contexts who participated in intensive discussions to connect this research to next generation STEM learning models.
The STEM Forum exemplified how diverse stakeholders can work together to envision, create, and implement successful STEM schools and STEM learning experiences. Building on the diversity of the participants, issues of social justice and equity rose to the fore, and strategies for addressing equity were featured. Challenges of scale and sustainability were also raised, and participants articulated the promise of new and emerging strategies. Important takeaways emerged across four thematic areas—research-based advances, multiple stakeholder communities, social justice and equity, and scale and sustainability, each of which are discussed below.