Science and Technology Enhancement Program
University of Cincinnati
Project STEP teams design, develop, and implement real-world, hands-on, technology-driven inquiry-based projects that include engineering principles, teach standards-based STEM skills, and relate to issues in the students’ community. Activities are incorporated into lessons, demonstrations, laboratory exercises, individual and group projects, and field experiences to enable urban high school students to directly experience authentic learning practices that require them to work collaboratively, use higher-order thinking skills, and engage in creative problem-solving. Students write and make presentations about their work. The activities build their interest and encourage participation in service learning. Students have achieved outcomes that show a perceptible impact. They are better motivated and prepared for advanced education. The STEP Fellows are trained to create and implement these activities through participation in a year-long university course that includes Instructional Planning and ongoing Field Practicum seminars, and by serving as research scientists and tutors in summer academies for middle and high school students. Quantitative and qualitative and formative and summative evaluations assess the project’s effectiveness, its impact on Fellows’ teaching skills and on high school science and mathematics education, and efforts to continually improve the program.