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Assessing the First-Year Pilot of STEM: Explore, Discover, Apply – STEM Curricula for Middle Schools (work in progress)

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

K-12 and Pre-College Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.208.1 - 24.208.10



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Paper Authors


Krystal S. Corbett Cyber Innovation Center

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Dr. Krystal Corbett is the Director of Curricula at the Cyber Innovation Center (CIC). She received her B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2008/2010), M.S. in Mathematics (2012), and Ph.D. in Engineering Education (2012) at Louisiana Tech University. Through the CIC, Dr. Corbett manages various educational enterprises. Additionally, she is designing and implementing a three-part middle school elective course, STEM: Explore, Discover, Apply, which fosters excitement in STEM.

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Joshua M. Coriell Cyber Innovation Center

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Joshua Coriell is a Curriculum Development Specialist at the Cyber Innovation Center’s National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center. He graduated from Louisiana Tech University in 2011 with a B.S. in Mathematics. A year later he completed his Master of Arts in Teaching at Louisiana Tech University. He is currently working on a high school mathematics curriculum geared toward students interested in STEM fields.

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Sara Hahler Louisiana Tech University

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Sara Hahler is a graduate student at Louisiana Tech University. She received her Bachelor of Science in mathematics education in 2012 from Louisiana College and is currently enrolled in the Computational Analysis and Modeling PhD program at Louisiana Tech. During her time as an undergraduate, she served as a tutor for the mathematics department at Louisiana College. Currently, she is performing research in the area of mathematics education exploring the connection between high school ACT mathematics scores and freshmen mathematic/engineering class grades.

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Assessing the Versatility of STEM Explore, Discover, Apply – A Middle School STEM Course (research to practice)Improving the quality of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programsin K-12 schools is a nationwide initiative. School administrators and teachers are experimentingwith innovative curricula that will engage students in STEM subjects. However, teachers andadministrators are cautious about employing new techniques due to concerns like timelimitations on lessons, the plethora of content required to be covered in the school year, andresource restraints. Therefore, it is critical that any new curricula be beneficial to all involvedparties: school administration, teachers, and students. The new curricula must reach the goal ofthe aforementioned initiative – to improve the quality of STEM education.In order to answer the initiative curriculum development specialists created middleschool elective curricula for grades 6 , 7 , and 8th. The curricula use science and design projects th thframed by the engineering design process to engage students. For each level of the curricula, thecontent is presented in a modular approach increasing in difficulty through the grade levels. Eachmodule consists of a design project lasting approximately three weeks if presented in a singularclass.This paper assesses the first-year implementation of STEM Explore, Discover,Apply (STEM EDA) curricula at three diverse K-12 schools. Through the pilot schools, theversatility of the curricula can be evaluated. The curricula are being piloted by a public, charter,and private school, all of which are conducting the courses in different manners. The publicschool implements the curricula as a standalone elective course. The charter school presents eachmodule over one-week periods, where a cohort of teachers integrates the content throughoutmultiple classes. The private school chooses specific modules that are applicable to lessons in itscurrent science curricula and presents those lessons using the STEM EDA module.Administrator and teacher feedback provides the data that will be the basis of the assessment.Taking into consideration the varying implementations of the curricula, the successes, failures,and future directions of the curricula are evaluated and presented in this paper.

Corbett, K. S., & Coriell, J. M., & Hahler, S. (2014, June), Assessing the First-Year Pilot of STEM: Explore, Discover, Apply – STEM Curricula for Middle Schools (work in progress) Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20099

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