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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Science Education
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
 Authentic STEM Hero
 An ad hoc committee will examine the evidence on learning and teaching STEM using authentic, open-ended pedagogical approaches for children and youth in grades K-12 in both formal and informal settings. The committee will explore what kinds of pedagogical approaches are most effective for cultivating the interest, dispositions and foundational knowledge and skills necessary for pursuing careers in technical fields with particular attention to approaches that engage participants in authentic, open-ended experiences such as problem or project-based approaches and making/makerspaces. A key issue the committee will address is how to engage students who are typically underrepresented in technology and computing. In cases where the evidence base related to technology and computing specifically is not robust, the committee will draw on evidence from research on learning and teaching in science, engineering and mathematics.

 Archived Webcast :

Workshop on Authentic STEM Learning for Computing/Technology

The Board on Science Education of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine hosted a public workshop on November 4, 2019 to explore issues in STEM education. The workshop illustrated the various ways in which stakeholders define and conceptualize authentic STEM learning opportunities for young people in grades K-12 in formal and informal settings, and what that means for the goals, design, and implementation of such experiences. Presenters unpacked the state of the evidence on the role of authentic STEM learning opportunities and promising approaches and strategies in the development of interest and competencies for technology and computing fields. A recurring theme throughout the workshop was the implications for increasing diversity and access to authentic STEM learning experiences among under served young people.

Related Reports

Science InvestigationsLScience and Engineering for Grades 6-12: Investigation and Design at the Center (2019)

This report reviews research on science investigations and engineering design problems for middle and high school students and explores promising models of innovative investigations and experiences both inside and outside the classroom. Through published research, this report provides ideas for teaching and learning, and incorporates the new vision for science education embodied in the Framework and the NGSS. The resulting report will provide guidance for designing science investigations and engineering design problems for middle and high school students that align with this vision.

How People Learn II CoverHow People Learn II: Learners, Contexts, and Cultures (2018)

This publication from the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences and the Board on Science Education summarizes research on the science and nature of learning. The report identifies new findings related to neurological processes involved in learning, individual and cultural variability related to learning, and educational technologies. In addition to expanding scientific understanding of the mechanisms of learning and how the brain adapts throughout the lifespan, there have been important discoveries about influences on learning, particularly sociocultural factors and the structure of learning environments. Finally, the report offers specific research objectives in two broad areas to serve as a guide for researchers and funding entities to spur investigations in to levels of analyses, methods, and theoretical frameworks across diverse disciplines to contribute to the study of how people learn.

Identifying and Supporting Productive STEM Cover ImageIdentifying and Supporting Productive STEM Programs in Out-of-School Settings (2015)

More and more young people are learning about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in a wide variety of afterschool, summer, and informal programs. At the same time, there has been increasing awareness of the value of such programs in sparking, sustaining, and extending interest in and understanding of STEM. To help policy makers, funders and education leaders in both school and out-of-school settings make informed decisions about how to best leverage the educational and learning resources in their community, this report identifies features of productive STEM programs in out-of-school settings. Identifying and Supporting Productive STEM Programs in Out-of-School Settings draws from a wide range of research traditions to illustrate that interest in STEM and deep STEM learning develop across time and settings. The report provides guidance on how to evaluate and sustain programs. This report is a resource for local, state, and federal policy makers seeking to broaden access to multiple, high-quality STEM learning opportunities in their community.

STEM Integration in K-12 Education Cover ImageSTEM Integration in K-12 Education: Status, Prospects, and an Agenda for Research (2014)

STEM Integration in K-12 Education examines current efforts to connect the STEM disciplines in K-12 education. This report identifies and characterizes existing approaches to integrated STEM education, both in formal and after- and out-of-school settings. The report reviews the evidence for the impact of integrated approaches on various student outcomes, and it proposes a set of priority research questions to advance the understanding of integrated STEM education. STEM Integration in K-12 Education proposes a framework to provide a common perspective and vocabulary for researchers, practitioners, and others to identify, discuss, and investigate specific integrated STEM initiatives within the K-12 education system of the United States. STEM Integration in K-12 Education makes recommendations for designers of integrated STEM experiences, assessment developers, and researchers to design and document effective integrated STEM education. This report will help to further their work and improve the chances that some forms of integrated STEM education will make a positive difference in student learning and interest and other valued outcomes.

Framework Report CoverA Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas (2012)

The framework identifies the key scientific ideas and practices all students should learn by the end of high school. Designed to make science education more closely resemble the way scientists work and think, the framework envisions that students will gradually deepen their understanding of scientific ideas over time by engaging in practices that scientists and engineers actually use. The framework is also designed to be useful for curriculum and assessment designers, teacher educators, and others who work in K-12 science education.



Upcoming Meetings

June 27-28, 2019: Washington, DC - 

September 16-17, 2019
: Washington, DC -

November 4-5, 2019: Washington, DC -

February 10-11, 2019: Washington, DC -
This meeting will be closed in its entirety. 

May 18-19, 2019: Irvine, CA -
This meeting will be closed in its entirety 

Committee Information

Barbara M. Means (Chair), Digital Promise
Karen Brennan, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Stephanie Chang, Maker Ed

Shaundra B. Daily, Duke University
Cheri Fancsali, Research Alliance for New York Schools
Juan Gilbert, University of Florida
Joanna Goode, University of Oregon
Mark Guzdial, University of Michigan
Mizuko "Mimi" Ito, University of California, Irvine
Leah H. Jamieson, Purdue University
Eric Klopfer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Irene Lee, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Victor Lee, Stanford University
Rebecca A. Maynard, University of Pennsylvania
Daniel A. Rabuzzi, Independent Consultant
Mega Subramaniam, University of Maryland  


Staff Information

Amy Stephens, Study Director
Kerry Brenner, Senior Program Officer
Leticia Garcilazo Green, Senior Program Assistant
Heidi Schweingruber, Director, BOSE





Mailing Address


Keck Center
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001



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