MiSTEM Picks Six promising STEM programs For Possible Funding, Development

Contact: Martin Ackley, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs 517-241-4395
Agency: Education

July 20, 2017

LANSING – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs in Michigan’s public schools are gaining more traction than a robotics race now that Governor Rick Snyder’s MiSTEM Advisory Council has tapped several of them for possible state and local investment.

MiSTEM today announced that is has identified six effective STEM programs through STEMworks, a rigorous process for identifying the nation’s most effective STEM education programs. STEMworks offers an extensive and growing honor roll of programs that have proven to make a difference for young people in K-12.

"STEM programs in schools are a critical piece of filling the talent gap in Michigan," said Governor Rick Snyder. "Having so many of these programs developed in Michigan is proof that we've built the foundation for bringing great STEM experiences to our students. I want to thank the MiSTEM Advisory Council and Michigan Department of Education for their excellent partnership and hard work in identifying high-quality programs for Michigan students."

MiSTEM’s first-ever round of selections from a competitive application process comes on the heels of a recent announcement of a Michigan Career Pathway Alliance.

On June 26, Snyder, State Superintendent Brian Whiston, and Talent and Economic Development Director Roger Curtis unveiled a series of Alliance recommendations aimed at closing the talent gap and improving opportunities for every student.

The Alliance recommendations include expanding and strengthening Career and Technical Education (CTE) statewide through a series of approaches, including curriculum improvements, increased collaboration between educators and employers, and added resources for students to discover and prepare for potential opportunities.

“There’s a recognition that we need quality STEM opportunities to help make Michigan students career- and college-ready, while also helping employers in this state fill their professional career openings,” Whiston said.

MiSTEM, made up of business, higher education, K-12 education, and philanthropic leaders, partnered withChange the Equation, a national nonprofit group supporting students’ STEM literacy, in selecting programs that meet the organization’s “rigorous design principles for effectiveness.”

The successful programs are:

Cereal City Science – A K-7 science curriculum, developed by the Battle Creek Area Mathematics and Science Center (BCAMSC). The curriculum supports teachers in implementing classroom instruction that includes opportunities for interaction in the classroom, where students carry out investigations; talk and write about their observations and emerging understandings; and discuss ways to test them.

Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (GLSI) – Through place-based education, professional development, and school-community partnerships, the GLSI’s nine regional hubs bring teachers, community organizations, and students together for hands-on learning and service in Michigan communities.

Math Recovery - The overarching objective for Math Recovery is to provide a robust teaching and learning framework for the construction of numeracy skills, along with assessments, which incorporate a strong analysis component for meeting individual student needs. It does this through two professional development courses: Intervention Specialist (MRIS) and Add+VantageMR (AVMR).

MISTAR (Michigan Science Teaching and Assessment Reform) – MISTAR is a partnership involving scientists, engineers, curriculum developers, education researchers, middle-school teachers, and school administrators who are working collaboratively to improve STEM outcomes for students by connecting curriculum reform with teacher training.

AP Computer Science Principles – The course introduces students to the foundational concepts of computer science and challenges them to explore how computing and technology can impact the world. The AP Program designed AP Computer Science Principles with the goal of creating leaders in computer science fields and attracting and engaging those who are traditionally underrepresented with essential computing tools and multidisciplinary opportunities.

Computer Science Discoveries – This course empowers students to develop digital and physical projects using creativity and problem solving in a fun, collaborative environment. The course covers a variety of computer science topics such as connected devices, programming, website and app design, and data collection.

Cereal City Science, GLSI and MISTAR are based in Michigan; the other three are national programs with a presence in the state.

“The MiSTEM Council believes that Michigan can be a world leader in innovation, talent, and technology. These programs are intended to be part of that journey as we work to ensure high-quality STEM programs for students across the state, to assist educators with impactful tools, and to help build a STEM culture in the state,” said MiSTEM Council Co-chair Christian Velasquez.

“The MiSTEM Council has found the relationship with Change the Equation and the STEMworks tool to be helpful in selecting verified quality programs from the many available STEM programs,” MiSTEM Council Co-Chair Kathleen Owsley said. “The diverse and STEM-passionate council members working with Michigan Department of Education and the Governor’s office selected these great programs to help move Michigan closer to the vision of a STEM-ready workforce.”

The Legislature created MiSTEM in 2015. It’s made up of 11 voting members serving at the pleasure of the Governor and four ex-officio legislators appointed from the House of Representatives and Senate.

In the 2016-2017 Michigan State Aid Act, the Legislature directed MiSTEM to recommend a statewide strategy for delivering STEM education-related opportunities to pupils and objective criteria for determining preferred STEM programs.

The legislation directed MiSTEM to provide STEM quality ratings for programs recommended for funding, and to make specific funding recommendations by Oct. 15 and Dec. 15, respectively, each fiscal year. The panel decided to use the STEMworks education program rating system as Michigan’s rating system.

The Legislature appropriated $2.8 million in 2017-18 to distribute $100,000 grants to Michigan STEM programs that meet Change The Equation’s criteria for “accomplished” or “promising” and for inclusion in its national database. Applications should solve a STEM education-related problem.

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and Michigan Math/Science Centers provide support for MiSTEM through recruiting and reviewing applications.

For more information on the application process, visit www.michigan.gov/mde-stemworks. For details on MiSTEM, go to http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140-28753_65803-401634--,00.html