Informal Science Education Consortium Programs
The proposed consortium will allow the ISE partners to move beyond “transient” or one-time programs. Three prosed program initiatives, currently in the formative evaluation phase, will create a continuum of support for K-12 teachers and students, with the goal of improving student achievement and interest in STEM.
Elementary school: Provide teacher professional development in STEM content and methods to improve elementary STEM instruction, and to increase student achievement and interest in STEM.
Middle school: Provide after-school programs linked to state learning standards to increase student achievement and interest in STEM fields.
High school: Provide a summer intensive internship program to increase student achievement and support interest in college level study in STEM fields.
The initiatives are built as a pipeline with each step representing a higher level of engagement which is scaffolded and supported by the earlier initiative. All programs link to and support Washington state learning standards.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
The ISE partners have established a solid foundation for collaborating to improve STEM education in our state. We now request funding to hire a director and evaluator. Tasks will include developing a business plan, conducting focus groups with stakeholders, identifying partners, refining program initiatives. If fully funded, we will achieve the following by December, 2012.
Outcome 1: A complete business plan is developed including:
- Case for support
- Measurable learning outcomes for Consortium programs
- Implementation schedule and evaluation plan for Stage Two
- Community partner identification
- Financial plan (including articulating the future resources, funding sources, and income streams necessary to move forward once pilot programming is over).
Outcome 2: Interviews/focus groups with key stakeholders (school districts, teachers, students, underserved communities) have been completed.
- Community needs have been defined
- Feedback on the three Consortium initiatives has been collected
- Potential partner organizations and the resources each collaborator might bring to the partnership have been indentified.
Outcome 3: Preparations for Stage Two, "Pilot Phase” are complete
- Initiative(s) to be piloted have been finalized
- Pilot project budget(s) has been developed
- Consortium partner roles and responsibilities for pilot implementation have been defined
- Partnerships have been developed
- Funds to support initial pilot programming and evaluation have been raised