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Full Steam Ahead: PD Model for Best Practices in STEAM


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Using an in-depth professional development model, Bellarmine University developed five Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) academies in the Jefferson County School District (JCPS) as a way to boost science and mathematics achievement. Our professional development (PD) efforts focus on targeting students identified as being in our state-defined gap group (in grades 3-5), and our project consists of workshops in which teachers share a common content and pedagogical experience organized around STEAM-centered problem-based inquiries. Stakeholders in the project are: Community partners including the Kentucky Science Center, Kentucky Center for the Arts, and the Speed Art Museum, school and district administrators, experienced teachers in STEM/STEAM, and higher education faculty in science, mathematics, and education. An annual MakerFaire event on BU's campus will showcase to the community the STEAM work teachers and their students have been engaged in throughout each year. Results from Year One are:

Goal #1: To increase students' science and mathematics achievement
Result: Improved scores on Cascade and K-PREP (Math)
• Positive statistical significance on Math Cascade between Treatment and Control Groups
• Raw percentages for K-PREP (Math) showed increases in Distinguished and Proficient among treatment group

Goal #2: To increase elementary teachers' (grades 3-5) STEAM content understanding and pedagogical content knowledge, with a critical focus on standards-based mathematics and science knowledge and skills
Result: Statistically significant growth on both mathematics and science assessments

Goal #3: To increase elementary teachers' STEAM self-efficacy
Result: Improved efficacy on both mathematics and science beliefs assessments