STEM Action Center Programs
The STEM Action Center is Utah’s leader in promoting science, technology, engineering and math through best practices in education to ensure connection with industry and Utah’s long-term economic prosperity.The following projects are part of the STEM Action Center’s portfolio, in partnership with the Utah State Office of Education, the Utah System of Higher Education and industry.
Math Digital Learning
The Utah State Legislature, through UCA 63M-1-3205 has provided $13.5 Million for the STEM Action Center to purchase supplemental math software for Utah classrooms. The grant is for use in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Public charter schools and school districts had the opportunity to apply for use of the math software in the summer of 2014 and are involved in a 2 year project. Grant awardees will be able to use the math technology from the approved list of ten product providers as a supplement or intervention to compliment a school’s current math curriculum. The grant program evaluation will be conducted by Utah State University, Dr. Sarah Brasiel (Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences Department) and the evaluation will be primarily looking at student mathematics achievement on the end of year SAGE state assessment.Learn More
High School STEM Industry Certifications
The need for early opportunities to gain valuable training and education in key STEM occupations is becoming more critical. Students need access to necessary training to gain early employment and companies are in desperate need for STEM talent. The High School STEM Certification Program provides resources to schools and districts to create new or expand capacity on existing STEM certification pathways that address high demand STEM jobs in their communities. These certifications can include resources such as much-needed equipment or supplies, support for the creation of new curriculum materials and activities that support hands-on, engaged instruction, support for internships and professional development for educators to enhance instruction in these new or existing certification pathways. The STEM Certification program is grant-based and any Local Education Agency is eligible to apply for funding.
Middle School Applied Technology
The applied science technology program targets middle school applied science, specifically 7th and 8th grade Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses. Four product providers were selected to provide curriculum materials and hands on activities related to engineering, applied science, and information technology. Contracts were finalized in October and Professional Development occurred in November and December of 2014. Districts and schools are in the planning stages for implementation starting spring 2015. Currently 45,954 licenses have been distributed. As data is released, we look forward to seeing improvements in student state SAGE assessment results. An anticipated outcome is that there will be increased student engagement and excitement by students for STEM as they see how it relates to real world problem solving.
The STEM Action Center, working in partnership with the Utah State Office of Education, has implemented the STEM Professional Learning Project. A video-based, online platform is being used to bring high quality instruction and online professional learning communities to Utah educators. A unique feature of this professional learning opportunity lies in the fact that the program includes videos of exemplary UTAH teachers that are using best practices in their STEM instruction. The content and focus of the videos is aligned to the Utah Core in STEM to ensure sustainability. The two product provides that were selected to test their products are providing implementation support to school districts to support effective integration into existing professional learning strategies in each district. Currently the districts, with support from the product providers, are finalizing implementation plans. Teacher training for the use of the products is underway and reaching nearly 18,000 teachers in Utah. Implementation will begin in spring 2015 and continue through the next few years. We have already seen examples of how districts are using this resource in their district to address the unique needs they have identified for professional learning.
Elementary STEM Endorsement
There is $1.5 million in funding allocated to support teachers to participate in a newly developed STEM endorsement program, through the Utah State Office of Education. Awards have been made to Institutes of Higher Education (IHEs) and districts across the state who responded to a request for proposals to develop STEM endorsement programs at their institutions to be offered to teachers. Each award was $100,000 per year for 2 years to serve 250-350 teachers in cohort 1. We will be assessing long term outcomes of participation in the endorsement program on the performance of the teacher’s students on the SAGE state assessment beginning with data from the 2015-16 school year.Learn More
STEM School Designation
The Utah STEM Schools Designation Program was developed to define the criteria and elements necessary for a school to create a comprehensive STEM learning environment for their students. The STEM schools designation program will allow schools to engage in discussions with faculty and community partners around STEM education as a lens for strong instruction for students to prepare them for college and career readiness. The designation also serves as an indicator for members of the public who are looking for STEM school experiences in Utah K-12 education. Schools that have identified a passion for STEM education will benefit from the opportunity for both reflection and recognition through this program.
Fairs, Camps and Competitions Grant
The primary function of the Fairs, Camps and Competitions Award is to encourage student participation in camps and competitions to support STEM education and economic development in Utah. This grant is intended for K-12 Utah students who are participating in any STEM related fair, camp or competition. This funding is to be used for entrance fees, project materials and travel to and from STEM competitions.The Fairs, Camps and Competitions Award is a post-performance grant, and students will be reimbursed for all or part of the requested amount after the competition has taken place.
This PreK-12 Classroom Grant is available for educators and administrators to apply for funding focused on improving student understanding and learning experience in the subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Awards will be granted to innovative and creative projects in STEM subjects.Learn More
STEM for Life
SALT LAKE CITY (Aug. 2, 2016)— The Utah STEM Action Center (STEM AC) is partnering with Carnegie Mellon University’s Community, Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment (CREATE) Lab to provide hands-on technology learning experiences for Utah students.