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Iowa Chooses Museum Engineering Curriculum for STEM Scale-Up

October 17, 2015

For the fourth year in a row, an award-winning elementary engineering curriculum developed at the Museum of Science, Boston has been selected for a statewide initiative in Iowa. Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®), a project of the Museum's National Center for Technological Literacy® is one of 14 curricula that will be available to Iowa educators through the STEM Scale-Up, a program launched by the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council in 2012 to promote student interest and achievement in STEM subjects.

Last year, 232 teachers from 91 Iowa school districts learned to implement the EiE curriculum reaching an estimated 11,500 Iowa elementary students.

The Scale-Up aims to give K - 12 teachers greater access to exemplary STEM curricula -- and to the professional development needed for successful implementation. The state legislature allocates a significant sum each year for the Scale-Up, more than $3 million annually. Educators apply for Scale-Up funding in a competitive process.

"The advisory council has three to four times as many applicants as they can give out awards," notes Christopher Soldat, the science curriculum consultant at Iowa's Grant Wood Area Education Agency (GWAEA) who facilitates EiE professional development workshops for the program. "The selection committee weighs need, geography, and local demand -- looking for underrepresented areas, but also making it a priority to distribute support evenly across the state."

Pre- and post-assessments help the STEM Advisory Council evaluate the success of the program. So far, the data show that students who learn with Scale-Up curricula develop a better understanding of science and engineering and greater interest in STEM careers -- results that map to EiE's own research into the impacts of learning with the curriculum.

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The Museum of Science, Boston

  1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114  phone: 617-723-2500