STEMM Education Center

The STEMM Education Center will provide a mechanism for connecting the STEMM education efforts across campus in one location, not as a gatekeeper, but as a place to connect and collaborate across the colleges, disciplines, and with K-12 and other outside STEMM entities.

Teacher Education, Cleveland State University

Profile submitted by Kate O'Hara

Vision and Goals

Center Goals
·Design, develop, and research innovative STEMM P-20 education programs that leverage partnerships to improve achievement and enrollment in STEMM programs
·Facilitate the development of teams to submit interdisciplinary proposals for external funding for projects that fit the STEMM education center and CSU strategic priorities
·Sustain and enhance academic excellence in STEMM at CSU
·Deliver professional development around P-20 STEMM teaching
·Promote STEMM activities within and outside the university in an effort to increase visibility of STEMM activities at CSU and to the greater NE Ohio community

Center/Program Structure

The STEMM Education Center at CSU is a collaboration between the colleges of Education and Human Services, Sciences and Health Professions and the Washkewicz College of Engineering. The center is located in the Department of Teacher Education in the College of Education and Human Services. The Center includes a director, a half time professional development outreach coordinator, a full time administrative coordinator and two student workers. The director and outreach coordinator are faculty members in the Department of Teacher Education. The funding for the center comes from both internal and external sources The center also includes an advisory board made of faculty members and administrators from all three colleges.

Are there advantages of being structured this way?

The advantage to the director being a faculty member is the reach within the university to all three colleges.

Are there particular challenges that result from this structure?

The challenge to the director being a faculty member are the multiple responsibilities of faculty. The director has responsibility for the center as well as teaching, research and service within the university.


How has this funding structure influenced the undergraduate STEM education programming the center offers?

What are the specific advantages of having a center funded in this way?

What are the challenges?

Has this funding structure has changed over time?

Description of Programming

The STEMM Education Center's most successful programming is around project-based learning in K-12 schools. The center works with school districts to discuss the needs of the teachers and staff in a particular school then creates a series of workshops for the teachers. The workshops occur during the school day. The goal of the workshops is for the teachers to understand project-based instruction, develop and teach a project and spend time reflecting on their experiences and creating goals for the following year. The professional development is embedded in the school, includes over 50 hours of contact with the teachers and in individualized for the teachers and school. In the 2017-2018 academic year we worked with over 400 teachers in 10 schools.

In addition to the Project-Based Instruction professional development workshops, the center also provides grant writing support to K-12 schools and across campus. The director and center staff serve as principal investigators, evaluators and coordinators for STEM education grants across campus. Current external funding for university grants include Operation STEM, and NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates and CSCLE (funded through NSF CS4ALL). The center also hosts a conference each year for teachers (typically about 100 teachers attend) and serves on multiple STEM advisory boards throughout northeast Ohio.

Successes and Impacts

This year we reached 400 teachers and 10 schools are teaching using project-based instruction. 100 teachers are attending the STEM Education Conference where they will learn research-based, inquiry-based, project-based teaching strategies.

Evaluation and Assessment

How does your center demonstrate its value, both in terms of assessing its own programming and responding to external evaluation?

Elements Contributing to Success

Networking with the Ohio STEM Leanring Network, Northeast East Ohio STEM Ecosystem and other northeast Ohio STEM networks have contributed to our success in northeast Ohio. Also our relationship with MC2STEM High School allows us to bridge the research theory gap during the professional development workshops.

Supplemental Materials

Grey Modern Photo Annual Report-8 (1) (Acrobat (PDF) 1MB Jun1 18)