Cultivating achievement and interest in STEM
About nPower Teachers
What is nPower Teachers in STEM and how does it work?
Expanded from the nPower Girls program, nPower Teachers is a STEM teacher mini-externship that partners with local businesses to learn from professionals about the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their industry. In 2019-20 we will explore agencies that focus on climate science. Teachers visit the business for half a day and spend the second half developing career-connected classroom activities to engage their students in STEM and career awareness. Protocols for the development of career-connected learning tasks are also shared.
The program helps teachers support students who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM such as Girls, English language learners (ELLs), ethnic minorities, gifted/highly capable students, special education students, alternative education students, and students living in poverty.
Who can participate?
nPower Teachers in STEM is open to teachers in all 30 school districts within the ESD 112 region. The professional development program is completely free for all teachers of all subjects, and districts will be reimbursed for the cost of substitutes. The focus is on teachers of grades 4-8, since those are the critical years for student identification with STEM, but high school teachers will also be considered. Teachers from K-12 are welcome, but the program focuses on content for grades 7-12 in STEM and Career Technical courses. The program expansion is supported financially by a state climate science grant and the theme for 2019-20 focuses on climate science topics.
nPower Teachers in STEM Workshops
At each workshop, teachers participate in an externship at an industry partner that focuses on climate science. Teachers visit the business or agency for half a day and then spend the second half developing career-connected classroom tasks to engage their students in STEM and career awareness. Some of the planned industry partners include an agricultural drone tech company in Lyle, an oyster farm in Naselle, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Mount Saint Helens Institute.
nPower Girls Outcomes
nPower Girls Outcomes
nPower Girls was designed to spark girls’ curiosity in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through activities that promote knowledge and discovery.
ESD 112 and grant partners invited grades 4-8 Math and Science teachers from Castle Rock, Longview, Mill A, Mt. Pleasant, Naselle-Grays River Valley School, Ridgefield, Three Rivers Christian School, and Wishram to participate in a three-year professional development program. We explored community-based STEM businesses and met with women working in these positions. nPower Girls aimed at strengthening instructional practices that support female students’ learning in STEM and connect them with mentors around the state.
In our 3 years together, we conducted over 20 teacher action research projects to study instructional interventions aimed at supporting girls in engaging equitably in STEM subjects. We tested informative feedback protocols, spatial intelligence training, growth mindset training and grading patterns. We found that all interventions positively supported ALL students! Our biggest outcome was the change in perception of girls (and other students) in how they understood and made sense of their STEM relevant skills through project-based learning.