STEM Central

A Community of Practice for NSF STEM Projects

Science education. Partnerships for STEM education


As leaders in higher education, industry, and government bemoan the limited academic success of students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), many practices of academe impede the ability of college and university faculty to address the issues. Consistent with barriers to community-engaged scholarship in general, STEM faculty engagement in elementary and secondary schools (K–12) can be undermined, for example, by (i) low status accorded to STEM education research and publications, (ii) a zero-sum view of faculty time allocation (e.g., K–12 engagement means time away from work more highly rewarded during promotion, tenure, and merit review), and (iii) bureaucracies that hinder collaboration between STEM faculty and K–12 teachers and administrators.

The U.S. National Science Foundation’s Math and Science Partnership (NSF-MSP) program is taking steps to address such obstacles. Since 2002, the NSF-MSP has funded nearly 100 partnerships between institutions of higher education and K–12 school systems to build upon and generate knowledge of the impact of partnerships as a basis for STEM education reform, and about how to improve K–12 STEM outcomes.

Reference Information

  • Author(s)

    Foster, K M and Bergin, K B and McKenna, A F and Millard, D L and Perez, L C and Prival, J T and Rainey, D Y and Sevian, H M and VanderPutten, E A and Hamos, J E

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    Science education. Partnerships for STEM education

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