The Nevada STEM Framework 2021 describes attributes of a Nevada STEM school. Each attribute contains sub-attributes and descriptors for how the attribute presents across the continuum of schools: exploratory, developing, established, and model. The framework was developed by the Nevada STEM Advisory Council to meet Nevada’s STEM needs and encompass research-based elements of high-quality, successful STEM schools. The Framework can be used as a self-assessment or as a tool to expand STEM education.
What you will find in the Framework
The Nevada STEM Rubric and the attributes of a STEM School divided into 3 categories:
- The School
- The Classroom
- The Community
The rubric describes what each attribute might look like at an Exploratory school, a Developing school, an Established school, and a Model school.
Attributes of an Exploratory Program
- Learning: STEM and non-STEM content are not regularly integrated. STEM activities are available for some students with minimal independent student learning through inquiry. Limited administrator support exists for STEM collaboration and professional learning opportunities.
- Application: Student learning is not consistently linked to STEM career opportunities. Opportunities to develop teamwork and critical thinking skills are infrequent. Some participation from families or STEM community partners exist.
- Examples: STEM activities, Science Fairs, after-school programs and clubs.
Attributes of a Developing Program
- Learning: STEM content is regularly offered in addition to the regular curriculum and is only occasionally integrated, with limited independent student learning through inquiry. Some administrator support exists for STEM collaboration and professional learning opportunities.
- Application: Teachers and students understand the importance of STEM to future careers. Students work to solve teacher-developed, realworld problems. Partnerships exist with STEM businesses and families but may be underdeveloped.
- Examples: “STEM Days”; Standalone, supplementary project-based activities.
Attributes of an Established School
- Learning: STEM practices and content are regularly integrated into daily instruction across most disciplines. Teachers facilitate independent student learning through inquiry. Significant administrative support exists for STEM collaboration and professional learning opportunities.
- Application: Teachers regularly link student learning to future careers.Students work in groups to solve student or teacher-developed, real-world problems. The school’s STEM industry and family partners often support STEM-related classroom experiences.
- Examples: Year-long STEM projects integrated across multiple subjects; School-wide STEM focus.
Attributes of a Model School
- Learning: STEM practices and content are fully integrated into daily instruction across all disciplines. Teachers facilitate collaborative, independent student learning through inquiry. Administrators fully and strongly support STEM collaboration and professional learning opportunities.
- Application: Students identify pathways to their STEM career goals. Student teams design and evaluate solutions to difficult, real-world problems. STEM industry and family partners actively collaborate on and participate in STEM-related experiences.
- Examples: A STEM Academy: with a fully integrated program across all curriculum for all students; a project-based school environment where students are immersed in STEM teaching and learning; where faculty have expertise in STEM fields and bring a realworld perspective to the classroom.
If your school is interested in learning more about the Nevada STEM Framework and developing a strategic plan for becoming a Governor Designated STEM School, read about the STEM Leaders Academy.