"It was so much more that I learned about earth and space than I thought I would and not only that but having the activities that were good inquiry based activities that took the kids to a higher level. I cannot say enough good about it." - STEP Teacher
STEP provides in-depth long-term professional development for educators in Earth and space science, activities and strategies for teaching all middle school Earth and space science topics, and connects them with Earth and space scientists from local institutions. Each workshop is designed to incorporate formative assessment activities and to build teacher (and student) knowledge through a series of activities.
Working with science education specialists at a variety of districts, STEP has compiled activities for the classroom to address the Texas middle school Earth and space science standards. Activities include constructing and observing hands-on models of phenomena, as well as analyzing data to better understand phenomena. STEP has also incorporated extensive training on how to plan and lead high-quality workshops, and assists participants in conducting these workshops.
STEP has been funded through a NASA Science Mission Directorate EPOESS grant.
Program partners include the Harris County Department of Education, and scientists at NASA, Rice University, the Lunar and Planetary Institute, the National Weather Service, and the University of Houston.
The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against CTEq's Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.
Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.
Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.
Ensure work is sustainable.
Demonstrate replicability and scalability.
Create high impact partnerships
Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.
Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience
Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.
Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.
Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.