Smithsonian Curriculum STC Receives Highest Rating from STEMWorks at WestED's Rigorous Review
Our Science and Technology Concepts (STC) curriculum has received the highest rating possible by STEMWorks at WestED's rigorous review process. As part of the STEMworks database, STC received a perfect 10/10 "Accomplished" ratings. As an "Accomplished" program, STC is helping students in every state in the United States and seven foreign countries gain first-hand experience of science and engineering practices. Rigorous research shows that STC can have a strong positive impact on the quality of teaching and student performance in science.
Research on Smithsonian Curriculum
"Technology Teachers as Researchers: Philosophical and Empirical Technology Education Studies in the Swedish TUFF Research School," presents the scientific output of the TUFF research school in Sweden, where a group of active teachers worked together on a series of educational research studies related to STEM teaching. Chapter 1 (pp. 120 - 140) outlines Swedish teachers' use of the Smithsonian curriculum called STC (or NTA, the Swedish version of STC), and outcomes on student learning. Read more
STC has lasting effects on elementary students understanding of physical science even after they enter High School, according to this 2018 article from the research journal, "Review of Education." Researchers from Sweden summarize their evaluations of SSEC's Science and Technology for Children (STC) Program on 9th graders' content and process skills in sciences. The Swedish version, called Natural Sciences and Technology for All (NTA), is predominantly employed in grades 1–6 in more than 40% of Swedish schools. A nationally representative random sample of almost 16,000 test‐taking students is coupled with multi‐level information about the NTA, and background factors. The researchers found statistically significant positive effects of NTA on 9th graders' national test scores (effect size 0.24), but not on their course grades, and on national test grades for physics, but not for biology or chemistry. The article explains these effects. Read more
"Inquiry-Based Science Education and Its Impact on School Improvement: The ECBI Program in Chile" discusses the establishment of an Inquiry-Based Science Education Program (ECBI, Spanish acronym) and how it integrated SSEC's LASER model with 30,000 students using STC. * Read more
*Devés R., López P. (2007) Inquiry-Based Science Education and Its Impact on School Improvement: The ECBI Program in Chile. In: Townsend T. (eds) International Handbook of School Effectiveness and Improvement. Springer International Handbooks of Education, vol 17, pp 887-902. Springer, Dordrecht.
LASER i3 Results
In 2010 the U.S. Department of Education awarded the SSEC a five-year Investing in Innovation (i3) validation grant to evaluate the LASER model’s efficacy in systemically transforming education through science.
Click on the reports below to learn more about the LASER i3 project and its outcomes in each of our three study regions.
The SSEC has a strong history of impacting individuals, schools, and communities through the LASER model, our curriculum, and our hands-on training and services. Click below to explore the impact that LASER has had on communities across the country and around the world.
Ongoing Projects and Initiatives
At any given time, the SSEC is engaged in a number of programs implementing the LASER model, providing services, and building leadership across the country. Click below to learn about our current programs and initiatives.