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STEM Learning & Resource Center (STELAR): Supporting Engineering Education within the NSF ITEST Program

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Sarah M. MacGillivray Education Development Center

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Sarah MacGillivray is an experienced project lead and technical assistance (TA) provider at Education Development Center (EDC), where she leads a body of work focused on addressing equity and access to high-quality education for all students. MacGillivray advances the goals of several National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded projects, including her work on the STEM Learning and Research Center (STELAR). The STELAR Center is the resource center for the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) NSF Program which focuses on broadening participation in STEM and preparing PreK-12 youth for success in the future workforce.

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Clara McCurdy-Kirlis Education Development Center

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Clara McCurdy-Kirlis, Project Staff, has 10+ years of experience in project management in health and education fields at state, tribal, community, and international levels. She has played lead roles in instructional design for adult learners, e-learning design and delivery, higher education curricula development, and interdisciplinary project coordination. In addition to supporting the ITEST projects, Clara also designs virtual and face-to-face training materials, creates tools and one-pagers for dissemination, and coordinates and facilitates webinars and trainings. She is passionate about the role of education in transforming society and bringing about positive change through collaboration and commitment.

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The National Science Foundation's Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program supports the research and development of innovative models for engaging PreK–12 students in authentic experiences that build their capacity to participate in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and information and communications technology (ICT) workforce of the future. The ITEST program was established in 2003 by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and focuses on strengthening students for the future of work. Since then, The ITEST program has awarded nearly $521 million across more than 490 projects since 2003, with programs spanning 48 states and the District of Columbia. Each project explores innovative models of engaging Pre-K–12 youth in formal school settings and informal STEM education programming. The STEM Learning and Research (STELAR) Center works to advance NSF’s mission to broaden the participation of groups, institutions, and geographic regions that are underrepresented in STEM disciplines—which is essential to the health and vitality of science and engineering. ITEST projects engage with multiple types of partners: schools, colleges, universities, businesses, not-for-profits, research organizations, communities, informal organizations, and government. The mission of STELAR is to build capacity and magnify the results of ITEST projects to deepen the impact of the ITEST program. In supporting projects across the country, we provide technical support that facilitates ITEST project success, synthesizes and disseminates project findings to a community of stakeholders, and broaden participation to include those underrepresented in the past. This poster session will share examples ITEST’s engineering projects, the youth communities they serve, and how engagement in authentic STEM programming will help to develop and shape to engineering careers.

MacGillivray, S. M., & McCurdy-Kirlis, C. (2021, July), STEM Learning & Resource Center (STELAR): Supporting Engineering Education within the NSF ITEST Program Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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