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.

STEM Smart Conference
A presenter at the conference "STEM Smart: Lessons Learned From Successful Schools" hosted by Drexel University and sponsored by NSF, , the Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education, nonprofit organization EDC and the National Academies.[reuse info]
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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.

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Cropped Org Chart
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Provenance: John McDaris, Carleton College
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Organizational Structures

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.

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Pie Chart
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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.

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ADDIE Model of Instructional Design
Graphic of the ADDIE Model of Instructional Design. ADDIE stands for Analyze, Design, Development, Implement, Evaluation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADDIE_Model[reuse info]
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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.

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Handshake
Two people shaking hands.[reuse info]
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Building Partnerships

Regardless of size, scale, or mission and vision, all STEM centers require strong and diverse partnerships for success.

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Model of how different DBER disciplines could intersect.
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The STEM DBER Alliance exists at the intersection of multiple DBER fields. (Image based on initial conceptualization by Mark Connolly.)[reuse info]
Provenance: Model was conceptualized by Mark Connolly.
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STEM DBER Resources

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.

Two figures putting puzzle pieces together
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Image of two figures putting puzzle pieces together.[reuse info]
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Collaborating at the Centers

The Collaborating at the Center report, written by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the POD Network in Higher Education, presents key recommendations on ways STEM Education Centers (SECs) and Centers for Teaching and Learning (CTLs) can work more closely to further national STEM education improvement efforts. The report is based on some of the key findings of 46 leaders from SECs and CTLs who gathered at a November 2015 workshop convened with support from the National Science Foundation.

Collaborative Learning Network
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Model of how learning occurs in a network.[reuse info]
Provenance: Julie Risien, Oregon State University
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Learning Networks and Netweaving

Transformative Learning Networks: Guidelines and Insights for Netweavers provides insight from four learning networks on how their leadership manages the network, creates learning opportunities within the network, and leverages community participation to enact change within the network. The report's primary audience are the designers and members of learning networks in the improving STEM education space.

About the Toolkit

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.


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