AMP-IT-UP is conducting research into various aspects of the impact of the STEM-ID courses and science and math modules on the students and their teachers. Some of the effects being measured include exploring how participation affects academic engagement, content understanding, knowledge-transfer and student persistence in STEM. Another related research topic involves the implementation of the professional development of the teachers who are using the STEM-ID materials as well as the fidelity of the curriculum deployment. AMP-IT-UP is also developing a theoretical model for understanding changes to the complex system that is education by utilizing resources from an interdisciplinary team that includes experts in both engineering and the social sciences.

We have designed applied research and evaluation frameworks that will allow us to examine AMP-IT-UP interventions and their effects within the contexts of fidelity of implementation and creating collaborative partnerships. To those ends, our research questions are:

  1. What is the effect of participation in STEM-ID (9-week exploratory courses for middle school and 9th grade engineering) on students’ (a) math, science, and engineering learning, (b) academic engagement, (c) math, science, and engineering self-efficacy, (d) attainment of 21st Century Skills, (e) math, science, and engineering anxiety, and (g) intention to persist in STEM?
  2. What is the effect of increased contextualization of math and science concepts (through the use of math/science modules) on students’ (a) math and science learning, (b) academic engagement, and (c) math and science self-efficacy?
  3. What is the effect of participation in STEM-related extracurricular activities on students’ (a) engagement, (b) math, science, and engineering self-efficacy, and (c) intention to persist in STEM?
  4. To what extent do students transfer knowledge between STEM-ID courses and core STEM courses and how does this knowledge transfer affect (a) engagement and (b) math and science self-efficacy?
  5. What is the effect of teacher professional development on teachers’ (a) STEM content knowledge, (b) discipline-related instructional practices, (c) perception of the value of inquiry-based instruction, collaboration, and content integration?
  6. To what extent are STEM-ID and the math and science course modules delivered with fidelity, and how do differences in level of implementation affect student outcomes?
  7. In what ways can methods of complex system analysis from multiple disciplines be used to develop a conceptual, theoretical framework for understanding changes within highly complex educational systems?