Skip to Main Content

STEM Education Research Guide

Use this guide to find UNO library resources and other helpful research tools.

STEM in Preschool

Collected Papers from the SEED (STEM in Early Education and Development) Conference 2010
This two-day conference, organized by the Center for Early Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (CEESTEM) at the University of Northern Iowa, was held in May 2010. It brought together leaders in early childhood and science education to explore issues in this growing field. Participants shared research and best practices in early childhood STEM education programs and professional development programs for teachers. Based on these discussions, they devised a research agenda for the field. These collected papers represent some of the invited papers shared with attendees prior to the conference to guide discussions and help shape future goals for the field.
National Research Council. 2009. Mathematics learning in early childhood: paths toward excellence and equity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Widespread support for formal preschool educational experiences has grown over the last few decades because of its many benefits. Often, however, these programs focus more on language literacy rather than mathematics. This report provides a thorough literature review of research on mathematical teaching and learning in early childhood, as well as an overview of best practices. A great deal of research in this area exists, but it has not been widely disseminated or implemented. Focusing on children aged 3 to 6 years-old, the authors propose evidence-based "teaching pathways" that can serve to guide curriculum development, teaching practices, and policy directions in early childhood mathematics education. They outline a series of recommendations that include clearly delineated steps to assist with their successful implementation. Research shows that nearly all children have the capability and curiosity to develop mathematical skills from an early age, which can build a solid foundation for future academic success. This document will help both formal and informal educators, administrators, and parents guide young children on a pathway to a life-long love of math.
Natural Start Alliance
Coordinated by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), the Natural Start Alliance brings together educators, organizations, and parents that work to provide experiences with nature to preschool-aged children. The site includes research briefs in the area of early childhood environmental education, a directory of resources and professional development opportunities, and information on nature-based preschools.
STEM Sprouts--Boston Children's Museum
This web site includes a variety of STEM resources created by educators at the Boston Children's Museum. The "STEM Sprouts Teaching Guide," available in both English and Spanish, has background information and activities for early childhood educators to introduce children to the wonders of science and math. The "Parent Tip Sheets" highlight ways parents can incorporate STEM learning into everyday activities with their preschoolers. The "STEM Activities" sheets outline simple experiments families can do at home, and the "I am a Scientist" workbook allows preschoolers to explore and see themselves as a scientist.

Produced by Eileen G. Harrington. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, Summer 2015.

STEM in K-12

Kaczmarczyk. L. & Dopplick, R. 2014. Rebooting the pathway to success: Preparing students for computing workforce needs in the United States. New York: Association for Computing Machinery.
Based on a 2013 study conducted by the Association for Computing Machinery's Education Policy Committee, this report represents a call to action for each state to develop plans to ensure that K-12 programs equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue degrees in computer science and enter the ever-expanding computer science workforce. It outlines the current state of K-12 computer science education and provides examples of exemplary initiatives that could be adapted and replicated elsewhere to achieve the 10 specific recommendations put forth in the report. An appendix includes state-level data on the computer science employment outlook, the number of post-secondary degrees in computer science awarded, and the overall computer and technology landscape in each state.
National Research Council. 2014. Literacy for science: Exploring the intersection of the next generation science standards and common core for ELA standards: A workshop summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
This report outlines the presentations and discussion undertaken at a two-day workshop convened by the National Research Council's Board on Science Education in 2013. The new common educational standards, including the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts (CCSS for ELA) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), hold the promise of improving K-12 student learning outcomes across the country. Although, CCSS for ELA and NGSS were developed separately, commonalities exist between the two that could be utilized to strengthen the implementation of both standards for the benefit of both teachers and students. Through presentations and discussions, this workshop brought together educational researchers and classroom teachers to explore ways the two sets of standards can work in concert, demonstrate concrete examples of how this can be done, determine the professional development needs of teachers to implement these curricular changes, and examine the role of institutional and district leaders in supporting this process.
National Research Council. 2014. STEM integration in K-12 education: Status, prospects, and an agenda for research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Many of the STEM education initiatives and research of the last few decades have focused on each of the disciplines in isolation. This report is the result of a two-year study conducted by the national Committee on Integrated STEM Education, which examined the current state of integrated K-12 STEM education both nationally and internationally and across all types of educational settings. By examining current approaches, as well as the benefits, challenges, and potential opportunities of integrated STEM education, the committee developed a research agenda to advance this area of STEM education, with specific recommendations for various stakeholders. This report will be of interest not only to educational researchers, but also to educators, school administrators, and policy makers.
National Research Council. 2012. A Framework for K-12 science education: Practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Science literacy among the general public of the U.S. is lacking, yet science and technology play an integral part of our lives. This book outlines a framework for K-12 education that ensures that all students, regardless of whether or not they go into a career in a STEM field, possess the necessary skills and knowledge to be able to participate as active citizens in policy and decision-making related to the various science issues we face today, including environmental and health-related topics. The framework focuses on three main dimensions: crosscutting concepts, disciplinary core ideas, and scientific and engineering practices. It is not prescriptive, but rather meant to be a guide for educators, administrators, and policy-makers to draft national science standards, develop curricular, instructional and assessment tools, and direct professional development activities. Appendices include feedback given on a draft document of the framework and a bibliography of sources used in devising the framework, including those that were not directly cited in this book.
National Research Council. 2011. Successful K-12 STEM education: identifying effective approaches in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
This brief report represents the work of the Committee on Highly Successful Schools or Programs for K-12 STEM Education, which falls under the National Research Council's Board on Science Education. The committee conducted a review of current research on measuring the effectiveness of K-12 STEM education. Focusing only on science and math, the subjects most widely taught in K-12 schools, the document proposes three main criteria for identifying highly successful STEM schools and programs, while recognizing the challenges associated with applying each of these criteria and highlighting gaps in the research. Based on their review of the K-12 STEM education landscape, they provide recommendations for schools, districts, and policy makers to improve and foster quality STEM education for all students. The original intent of this report was to guide the presentations and discussions in a workshop convened by the committee, but it also stands on its own as a resource for teachers, principals, curriculum developers, and decision makers at all levels of government.
Successful STEM Education
The impetus for creating this web site grew out of the National Research Council's (NRC) report, Successful K-12 STEM Education: Identifying Effective Approaches in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (2011), which highlighted highly successful schools and programs in STEM. Developed and maintained by the Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education (CADRE), it contains links to this 2011 report and other NRC reports. It also includes information about past and future "STEM Smart" workshops, held across the U.S. to promote the findings of the report, foster discussion, and share best practices in STEM education. A resource directory includes recordings of these workshop presentations, STEM Smart workshop briefs, and PowerPoint slides from workshop presentations.

Produced by Eileen G. Harrington. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, Summer 2015.