STEM Ed Centers: A National Conversation > Center Profiles > STEM Central Station (STEM Station), Boise State University
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STEM Central Station (STEM Station)

The STEM Station represents a definitive and intentional strategy to create and sustain an educational culture where STEM students, faculty and staff are engaged in learner-centered experiences that facilitate successful navigation through critical junctures in their educational and professional careers. The framework of the STEM Station is the concept of self-authorship.

Provost Office, Boise State University
Established: 2010

Profile submitted by Patricia Pyke

Vision and Goals

Center/Program Structure

The STEM Station is a partially externally funded (by an NSF I^3 grant) and partially internally funded center for enhancing STEM teaching and learning. The STEM Station was originally created (in Fall 2010) through funding from an NSF grant to address critical junctures of STEM faculty and students at Boise State and provide enhanced capacity to over a dozen NSF funded STEM education projects. The PI (Provost Schimpf) and 4 Co-PIs (McGuire, Viskupic, Nadelson, Moll – see selected a director for the STEM Station (Pyke – full time 12 month contract) to oversee the day-day commitments of the center. Over the last three years the STEM Station has evolved and broadened scope in address K-12 STEM education, community STEM education, and STEM teaching and learning research assessment and evaluation.

The STEM Station has both a community council and advisory board to provide vision and direction as well as feedback and analysis of the related projects and activities. The grant team take the primary responsibility for coordination and implementation of the activities, projects, and research associated with the STEM Station. We have added a faculty scholar (full year, full time) in residence to the STEM Station to provide support for assessment and evaluation of STEM teaching and learning projects.

Description of Programming

Two primary instruments were developed by the external evaluation team and the project team to guide the focus of STEM Station strategies and interventions – the STEM Student Engagement Survey and the STEM Faculty Instructional Practices Survey.

We are also progressing in the development of an observation tool designed to assess the level of learning partnerships taking place in STEM classrooms. Again, working with the STEM Education Research Scholars we examined the three major facets of the learning partnership model and determined key indicators of each of these facets. After multiple rounds of development we have piloted final versions, making minor adjustments to increase ease of use and align with the goal of using the instrument to assess the status of learning partnerships in STEM classrooms. The Learning Partnership Observation Protocol – LPOP – is in the final stages of development, with the coding guide now being created

Successes and Impacts

Strategies to address student critical junctures:

Strategies to address faculty critical junctures in teaching:

Strategies to address faculty critical junctures in STEM education research:

Strategies to address university critical junctures

Elements Contributing to Success

The success of the STEM Station success is attributed to the focus on the needs and critical junctures of students and faculty and success with the implementation of the related support programs. The success has led to confidence and expectation in the STEM Station to facilitate the development of meaningful solutions, coordination of the collaboration with the right people, and thinking creatively about how to approach the complex problems associated with STEM teaching and learning. We also attribute our success to addressing the needs of students and faculty based on data. We are research driven - which has allowed us to make decisions and determine priorities for our students, faculty and campus based on data, which we feel is critical to our success and to the incredible support we have from the campus and greater STEM education community.

Supplemental Materials

STEM Station Brochure (Acrobat (PDF) 1.2MB Aug1 13)

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