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Education in STEM can help students learn to think critically and design solutions for a complex world. In order to provide meaningful learning experiences and positive environments for diverse learners, MAEC supports effective instruction, assessment, and program development in STEM subjects. Our work is based on the principle that all students have the knowledge and perspectives which provide them with the skills to engage in the learning and practice of STEM.


Comprehensive Needs Assessment of STEM Instructional Programs

What impacts do science and math interventions have on classrooms, schools, and students? How should we best address the needs of diverse students? MAEC provides a wide variety of services to help institutions evaluate their efforts to improve math and science education. From individual student learning and engagement to statewide trends in achievement, we work with clients to identify goals, design assessments, collect and analyze data, measure outcomes, and create practical recommendations for new courses of action.

Strategic Planning and Program Design

MAEC assists schools, districts, and states in bringing key stakeholders together to identify needs, set priorities, and make realistic plans for STEM reform efforts. MAEC staff has expertise in STEM education research, organizational change, program management, and evaluation. MAEC's experienced development team often partners with districts and universities on new projects and proposals to secure STEM-education grants from NSF, the U.S. Department of Education, and other funding sources.

STEM for English Learners: Principles and Strategies

This workshop offers an opportunity for teachers to learn about best practices for instructing STEM to English Learners (ELs). STEM teachers have the responsibility of teaching all students to higher standards while helping ELs to master content and language. In this interactive workshop, participants will learn about basic, research-based principles for simultaneously supporting learning of science and math for ELs and building their English Language proficiency.

STEM Professional Learning for Teachers and Coaches

Equitable instructional and assessment approaches in STEM ensure that all students can meet the challenges of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. MAEC provides customized professional learning experiences in math and science to assist teachers to more effectively address the needs of culturally, linguistically, and racially diverse students. Teachers and coaches in our programs learn culturally responsive practices that identify student needs, use the resources and backgrounds of students and their families to better inform classroom instruction, root out stereotypes, create inclusive environments and curricula, and engage learners in scientific and mathematical practices that will serve them in their lives and future careers.

STEM Network Schools Project

In partnership with the West Virginia Department of Education and the Education Alliance, MAEC has initiated the STEM Network Schools Project. This initiative was created to support the development of strategic plans to build eight schools’ capacity for improving STEM instruction, especially for girls, and create a positive culture for STEM. The project will focus on the following key areas:

  • Conducting an extensive needs assessment of current STEM programs and implementation;
  • Providing professional learning opportunities for school based staff to improve instruction in STEM using culturally relevant pedagogy; and
  • Developing an evaluation of the project’s impact and effectiveness in gaining access and increasing the quality of STEM instruction and programs.

Post Image Equity Strategies for K-12 STEM: A focus on gender, race, & computer science

Part of MAEC's Boosting Success for 21st Century Learners Webinar Series, this webinar allows participants to learn about and explore key concepts in creating equitable computer science curricula and classrooms. These research-based approaches enable educators to welcome and support underrepresented populations (e.g. girls, African Americans, Latinos/as) in learning computer science and considering computer science careers.   This session was originally held on March 16, 2015 Presenter: Melissa Koch, Senior Education Developer, SRI International and Director of Build IT, ICT4me, and InnovaTE3 Description: Why all the fuss about computer science, coding and underrepresented populations? Can we just give everyone more time learning to code? This interactive workshop allows participants to learn about and explore key concepts in creating equitable computer science curricula and classrooms. These research-based approaches enable educators to welcome and support underrepresented populations (e.g. girls, African Americans, Latinos/as) in learning computer science and considering computer science careers. Much of the workshop's content is relevant to other STEM subjects as well. Learning Outcomes: - Learn about strategies for recruiting and retaining students in computer science classrooms and encouraging students' computer science learning; and - Gain familiarity with key issues in computer science specifically and STEM in general, such as stereotype threat, role models, effort-focused mindset, collaboration, play, and social and personal connections. Equity Strategies for K12 STEM.pdf (PDF) View the online recorded presentation

Post Image Women and Girls in STEM

This piece, part of our Addressing Critical Equity Issues series, provides promising practices to increase the number of girls, especially those of color, in STEM post-secondary courses and professions.

Women and Girls in STEM

Women and girls, and particularly those of color, are significantly underrepresented in fields requiring preparation in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). They remain invisible in STEM postsecondary courses and professions. Girls who do major in science tend to major in life sciences. For example, 59% of all bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorates in biology are awarded to women as compared to only 19-20% of the similar degrees in engineering and computer science; except for medical students, salary and job prospects are lower in biology and research (“Where the Women Are: Biology,” The New York Times, Nov. 4, 2011). The figures for minority women are even more striking. Only 19% of all biology degrees are awarded to minority women, and only 5-7% of all engineer or computer science degrees are awarded to minority women. (Digest of Education Statistics 2010, NCES 2011-015 U.S. Dept. of Education, April 2011). Since the differences in course-taking patterns and performance at the secondary level reflect only minor differences between males and females, what could be at fault? According to the Institute of Education Sciences Practice Guide, Encouraging Girls in Mathematics and Science, consistent gender differences appear in three areas: “children’s and adolescents’ beliefs about their abilities in math and science, their interest in math and science, and their perceptions of the importance of math and science for their futures.” The solution requires not just providing classes and enrolling students, it also demands the best of teachers who are highly knowledgeable about content as well as skilled in instructional methodologies, especially those that have a positive impact on females. For example, teachers must help girls to believe that their abilities in mathematics and science can be improved, expose girls to female STEM role models, and provide girls with activities that spark their curiosity and interest in mathematics and science. With the low graduation and proficiency rates for students of color, it is inevitable that minority females will remain underrepresented in STEM if we don’t take those actions that are most likely to have a positive impact on their interest in STEM and their belief that they can be successful in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics field. PROMISING PRACTICES
  • Evidence-Based Practices Doing What Works Clearinghouse (with evidence of positive or potentially positive effects for improved outcomes for students in mathematics and science)
  •  Programs The COMPUGIRLS program is a two-year curriculum using multimedia activities as a means of encouraging computational thinking. The project advances understanding of how to encourage girls (including girls from underrepresented groups) to pursue Information and Communication Technology ICT fields. It builds upon established research and includes evaluation of the impact on participants' computational thinking, techno-social analytical skills, attitudes about and interest in pursuing further education and careers in ICT/STEM fields.
  • Making Middle School Mathematics Accessible to All Students (MAS) is a WestEd professional development opportunity designed to enhance the capacity of middle school mathematics teachers, teacher-leaders, special education teachers, and paraeducators (instructional aides) to support all students to achieve mathematics proficiency.
  • Beatty, Alexandra. (2011). Successful STEM Education: A Workshop Summary. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.
  • Banilower, E., Cohen, K., Pasley, J. & Weiss, I. (2010). Effective Science Instruction? What Does Research Tell Us? Second Edition. Portsmouth, NH: RMC Research Corporation, Center on Instruction.
  • Halpern, D., Aronson, J., Reimer, N., Simpkins, S., Star, J., and Wentzel, K., Encouraging Girls in Math and Science (NCER 2007-2003). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Research.
  • Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. This report is available for download on the IES website at
  • Lee, Okhee & Buxton, Cory A. (2010) Diversity and Equity in Science Education: Research, Policy, and Practice (Multicultural Education Series) New York: Teachers College Press.
  • National Governors’ Association. (2011) Standards of Mathematical Practice. Washington, D.C.: Author. (A supplement to the Common Core Standards in Mathematics) National Academy Of Sciences, National Academy Of Engineering, and Institute Of Medicine Of The National Academies (2011). Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology at the Crossroads. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.
  • Richard A. Duschl, Heidi A. Schweingruber, and Andrew W. Shouse, Editors (2011). Taking Science to School. Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.

Download: Women and Girls in STEM

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