Improving Integrated STEM Education: The Design and Development of a K-12 STEM Observation Protocol (STEM-OP) (RTP)
Integrated approaches to teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (commonly referred to as STEM education) in K-12 classrooms have resulted in a growing number of teachers incorporating engineering in their science classrooms. Such changes are a result of shifts in science standards to include engineering as evidenced by the Next Generation Science Standards. To date, 20 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the NGSS and another 24 have adopted standards based on the Framework for K-12 Science Education.
The work presented here describes in detail the development of an integrated STEM observation instrument - the STEM Observation Protocol (STEM-OP) - that can be used for both research and practice. Over a period of approximately 18-months, a team of STEM educators and educational researchers developed a 10-item integrated STEM observation instrument for use in K-12 science and engineering classrooms. The process of developing the STEM-OP began with establishing a conceptual framework, drawing on the integrated STEM research literature, national standards documents, and frameworks for both K-12 engineering education and integrated STEM education.