The Center for K12 STEM Education aims to increase access to high-quality learning experiences, STEM-focused higher education and related careers.
About the Center
The Tandon School of Engineering has long recognized the critical need to engage K-12 students, teachers, and schools in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through hands-on, authentic learning. For nearly 20 years – and with the generous support of $20+ million in public, philanthropic and corporate grants – the Center alongside Tandon faculty has created and executed dozens of innovative programs that bring STEM disciplines and concepts to every level of K-12 education.
The Center and its programs place strong emphasis on serving those who have limited access to high-quality STEM education, which often means working with students from demographic groups that are underrepresented in STEM fields: students of color, girls and young women, and those from low-income backgrounds. Our work with teachers largely focuses on educators serving these demographic groups.
The Center builds its initiatives on the expertise and passion of trained graduate and undergraduate students to develop and teach hands-on, activity-based STEM curricula to younger students and their teachers under the guidance of faculty members. We strongly emphasize authentic experiences: grounding curriculum and instruction in the application of STEM concepts in the real-world and in a social context; connecting content to ongoing research in our applied engineering, computer science and other labs; employing pedagogy that is inquiry based, problem solving and iterative; and deploying the actual tools of scientists and engineers — from microcontrollers, electronic components, actuators, and the like to high-end testing and experimental equipment used in research.
Our programs support and advance Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards in classrooms, after-school environments and in summer programs through the alignment of our curricula, activities and lessons. In our teacher professional development programs and in direct instruction to k-12 students, we often introduce new and innovative ways to help students master content and standards through the practice and application of science and engineering. The approach also focuses on integrating many STEM content areas so students and teachers attain both broad and deep exposure to many of fields of study.
The Center for K12 STEM Education gratefully acknowledges the financial support of its partners in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. These supporters allow us to make nearly every Center program highly accessible and free to attend, both for teachers and k-12 students. Their funds literally make our work possible, providing resources to hire undergraduate and graduate students as instructors and curriculum developers and to purchase real-world STEM materials for participants to use to learn.
We’re honored by the confidence of these institutions.