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Topic: "MSPnet Academy: STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools (SABES)"

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MSPnet Academy Discussion
April 24 - May 8, 2014

"MSPnet Academy: STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools (SABES): Tomorrow's STEM Professional, Today's STEM Student: One Student and One Family at a Time"

Presenters: Steven Sheldon, Yolanda Abel, and Kavita Mittapalli from STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools (SABES) MSP

The STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools (SABES) project, a Johns Hopkins University (JHU) collaboration between the Whiting School of Engineering (WSE) and the School of Education (SoE), is currently in its 2nd year of the NSF grant. SABES is working in nine urban elementary schools in Maryland to provide Grades 3-5 students with a new STEM curriculum that highlights the inquiry-based, engineering design process through project-based learning. In addition to the in-school portion of the intervention, after-school programs are operated in the schools where students use this approach to develop their STEM skills and knowledge. In the after-school setting, however, students work in teams to experiment with common materials to explore scientific principles and engineering design. Overall, the goal of SABES, in both in-school and after-school, is to empower students to view their own communities as places of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) that can be applied to address local issues and concerns. This approach draws upon Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Theory of Human Development, where the child is at the locus of control or the center of multiple concentric layers of influence on development.

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Thank you!

posted by: Kavita Mittapalli on 4/24/2014 3:56 pm


Just a short note to thank everyone who took the time today to attend the webinar and post questions. If you have any follow up questions, please post them in this discussion.


Kavita Mittapalli. Grant evaluator for SABES. MN Associates, Inc.
Yolanda Abel and Steven Sheldon. SABES project research team members. Johns Hopkins University.

post moderated by Kimberly Descoteaux on 4/24/2014

SABES webinar

posted by: Sara Silver on 4/25/2014 9:01 am

Kavita, I'm guessing here so could be wrong: I think the reason there wasn't much feedback from the audience to Steve's questions about what the audience does by way of exposing young children to STEM is simply because this is new territory. Few people are attempting to do this kind of work in an organized fashion. There might be episodic forays--such as after school Lego Robotics, but I know of no elementary STEM curricula that have been embraced by school systems. Not because they don't think it's important; rather because it competes with so many state and federal initiatives and accountability requirements. Regardless, many kudos for taking on this bold work and forging new ground. Keep me posted on the evaluation findings as you move past the pilot years. Good luck.


posted by: Kavita Mittapalli on 4/26/2014 7:59 am

Thanks, Sara. We suspected that that might be case but we did receive some good Qs about SABES and we are responding to them. It will certainly provide a lot of good research and evaluation opportunities for the SABES team and for us, the evaluators.

Incentives for Family with Children in STEM OST Programs

posted by: Yolanda Abel on 4/25/2014 2:34 pm

For those of you who are working with students who participate in after-school STEM programs what incentives have you found work really well for the families? How are you asking the families to engage with the STEM program? Thanks.