The STEM Brasil and STEM México hands-on learning methodology is highlighted time and time again as an effective approach to the challenge of improving the quality of education in Brazil and México. Since 2002, STEM Brasil has trained teachers in 17 Brazilian states. It is also the first of Educando’s programs to be scaled internationally: STEM México started its operation in the state of Campeche in 2018.
STEM Brasil and STEM México exist to inspire, engage and provide support to public school natural science and math teachers. The programs’ mission is to dramatically improve STEM-related subjects teaching standards so disadvantaged students will finish high school, attend college and pursue the economically-critical science and engineering fields.
STEM Brasil and STEM México give teachers hands-on training in new techniques to enliven the official Brazilian and Mexican curricula with innovation, technology, creativity, and local context. These techniques focus on project-based learning – the use of rigorous classroom practical activities to facilitate learning of concepts and theory. In this framework, students collaborate on projects and work together to solve problems, while the teacher plays the role of facilitator.
STEM – SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, & MATH
The training has four subject areas: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Math. Workplace 21st Century Skills – problem-solving, teamwork, critical thinking and communication – are incorporated in the learning activities for each subject area. The sessions are demanding: the program is comprised of 180 hours over the course of two school years.
The strength of STEM Brasil and STEM México lies in the long term investment in human capital. Between the quarterly teacher training sessions, the dialogue between our trainers and the teachers continues via our educational online platform – the Virtual Learning Community (CAV). The teachers share videos, photos, and experiences as well as reach out to their colleagues and the trainers, should they have any doubts, questions or best practices to share.
The trainers visit each school to observe classes, interview teachers, students, and staff members, and above all else, help teachers with questions and concerns regarding the execution of the methodology and activities with their students. Teacher trainers give individualized assistance to the teachers to inspire added confidence, thus increasing the number of activities they implement in the classroom.
STEM BRASIL & STEM MÉXICO ARE TRAINING TODAY’S TEACHERS TO CREATE TOMORROW’S LEADERS.
IMPACT IN BRAZIL
- Launched in: 2009
- Participating teachers: 4,690
- Schools: 670
- Impacted students : 574,771
- Activities: 224 classroom activities for High School and Middle School
- Kits: All materials necessary for the completion of the activities
- Classroom training: 120 hours of classroom training, workshops and personal support in the schools during 2 years
- CAV: 60 hours of online training and support through our Virtual Learning Community
INSPIRING TEACHERS – CREATING LEADERS – TRANSFORMING LIVES
STEM Brasil has already made important strides in reaching our goal. To date, more than 4,600 teachers have participated in our advanced training sessions. Our teachers are trained in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Math and have reached more than 570,000 students throughout the country. We are on course to double those numbers over the next two years. We are proud of the work we have accomplished, but much more remains to be done.
Educando has developed thorough internal evaluation instruments to measure STEM Brasil’s impact on teacher performance and student outcomes. Educando administers school, teacher, and student surveys and monitors math and science standardized test scores from participating schools. By interviewing teachers, school coordinators, and principals, we are able to qualitatively measure the importance of STEM Brasil in schools. Surveys are conducted before, during, and after the program’s execution to monitor teacher and student satisfaction and improvement in the classroom. We also monitor various national exams results to compare STEM Brasil schools with similar public schools that do not participate in the program. Educando has also been able to show, through standardized test scores, conclusive and quantitative evidence that STEM Brasil has a positive impact on student outcomes.
- 84% of schools participating in STEM Brasil show an increase of 20% in their students’ math grades
- 88% of schools mantain STEM Brasil activities after the 2-year program period
- 80% of schools consider STEM Brasil important for incentivating lab use
- 74% of schools report an increase in teacher motivation after STEM Brasil hands-on activities implementation
In addition to these evaluation measures, STEM Brasil has its own unique online platform called Virtual Learning Community (CAV) where teachers, trainers, and Educando staff can share resources and experiences. It is a way to augment the in-person training while also sharing best practices about the activities teachers have successfully implemented in the classroom. This online environment gives teachers a consistent source of support, while also allowing Educando to monitor teacher performance. All teachers and supervisory staff that currently participate in STEM Brasil are registered in the CAV.
Educando gratefully acknowledges the following generous donors for their support of STEM Brasil and STEM México. It is through sustained and successful partnerships that both programs can continue their important work.