Dr. Sarah Brasiel
The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) topic supports research that contributes to improved outcomes in STEM content areas for learners with or at risk for disabilities from kindergarten through postsecondary education.
Success in STEM areas is associated with positive long-term outcomes such as high school graduation, college completion, career opportunities, and earning potential. Yet students with disabilities continue to lag behind their peers without disabilities in both mathematics and science achievement according to the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). For example, in mathematics, 69 percent of Grade 8 students with disabilities who participated in the assessment scored below the basic level compared to 25 percent of students without disabilities. In science, 66 percent of Grade 8 students with disabilities who participated in the assessment scored below the basic level compared to 28 percent of students without disabilities. For the 2014 NAEP assessment in Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL), which measures the ability to apply technology and engineering skills to real-life situations, students with disabilities scored significantly lower than students without disabilities (116 compared to 155).
Previously focused on improving outcomes in mathematics and science, NCSER recently expanded this topic to include technology and engineering content areas as well, leading to the topic area change to STEM. Research projects funded by this topic have made contributions to programs, instructional practices, curricula, technologies, and assessments designed to improve learning and outcomes in STEM for students with or at risk for disabilities.
Since 2006, NCSER has invested over $46 million in the STEM program across four goals.
RELATED PROJECTS & PROGRAMS
For a summary of NCSER-funded projects in Math and Science Education, click here.