STEM Education Center Toolkit
About the ToolkitThere are as many ways of organizing the activities and people of a center as there are centers. But that doesn't mean that there aren't some common lessons to be learned. Each section of the Toolkit draws on the real experiences of centers to illuminate guidance and best practices in a particular area of activity.
Communicating Vision and Mission
Time spent developing vision and mission statements is an investment in success, but being able to communicate that vision and mission is just as important.
There are as many ways of organizing the activities and people of a center as there are centers. But that doesn't mean that there aren't lessons to be learned.
Funding and Resources
There are multiple, interconnected parts to funding and supporting center activities. Each is important and needs to be understood in terms of how all of them play together as a system.
Evaluation and Assessment
It is critical to develop and execute a plan to assess and evaluate the effectiveness of a center's programming and activities. Short and long term evaluation will help you to adjust your programming to best suit the needs of your stakeholders.
Regardless of size, scale, or mission and vision, all STEM centers require strong and diverse partnerships for success.
Many STEM disciplines have groups of researchers studying education issues in their own context, but now there is a growing movement to share expertise across these boundaries through the creation of networks of discipline-based education research (DBER) practitioners. NSEC asked the DBER community to share resources from within their discipline that may be of interest to others and these pages present listings of useful links and information.
Over the course of several workshops, the NSEC community has recognized areas where there is expertise available in the network that should be shared more widely. At the 2016 Workshop in San Antonio, participants synthesized guidance on these 5 topical areas from essays and stem center profiles submitted by network members.