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Creating a National Model for High School STEM Education

The School of Engineering’s Center for Excellence in Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) Education has begun a program to help stimulate and promote national engineering teaching standards in the state of New Jersey. The program is run by Center Project Director Chris Anderson, whose goal is to make available to all of New Jersey standard curriculum and materials for STEM education. The model that will be used, Engineering byDesign™, was created by the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA). The ITEEA has created these standard materials and distributes the right to use them under licenses. The license must be bought annually and can only be used by one party per state. This party can then distribute at their discretion the curriculum and ITEEA title to schools.

While many states were actively using the ITEEA curriculum, New Jersey had not yet acquired a license. Anderson took it upon himself to change this by bringing Engineering byDesign™ to the State. The effort is funded by Edison Ventures, Inc. who generously granted the money to support the three-year effort.. Training is conducted by the School’s Center for Excellence in STEM Education and is for pre-engineering/technology teachers of grades K-12. Anderson requires this training as a quality control, making sure the high standards of the ITEAA and TCNJ are met.

So far over 50 8th and 9th grade teachers across 38 districts have been trained. This is only the beginning though. Anderson plans to continue the program beyond the grant period and is actively seeking additional support. His five-year goal is train teachers from half of the districts in New Jersey. Additionally, he is collecting data from the classes that are currently implementing the ITEEA training and plans to use these data to measure the effectiveness of the curriculum, making necessary changes that will ultimately create a national development model.