The STEM Brasil 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. Thanks to overwhelming demand, STEM Brasil is currently training teachers in 12 Brazilian states, tripling its reach from a year ago. STEM Brasil is also the first of Worldfund’s programs to be scaled internationally: STEM Mexico will have its first pilot in 2018.
STEM Brasil’s goal is to inspire, engage and provide support to public school science and math teachers. The program’s mission is to dramatically improve science and math teaching standards so disadvantaged students will finish high school, attend college and pursue the economically-critical science and engineering fields.
STEM Brasil gives teachers hands-on training in new techniques to enliven the state-mandated science and math curriculum. 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.
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, and MATH
The training has four subject areas: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Math. Workplace 21st Century Skills – managing information, problem-solving, communicating and networking – 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 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, 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 or questions or best practices to share.
STEM Brasil 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 STEM Brasil’s methodology and activities with their students. Teacher trainers give individualized assistance to the teachers to inspire added confidence, thus increasing the number of STEM Brasil activities they implement in the classroom.
STEM Brasil is training today’s teachers to create tomorrow’s leaders.
Launched in: 2009
Participating teachers: 4,690
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 (CAV)
Inspiring teachers, creating leaders
STEM Brasil has already made important strides in reaching our goal. To date, more than 4,900 teachers have participated in our advanced training sessions. Our teachers are trained in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Math and currently reach more than 570 thousand 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. It is through sustained and successful partnerships that STEM Brasil can continue its important work.
Worldfund has developed thorough internal evaluation instruments to measure STEM Brasil’s impact on teacher performance and student outcomes. Worldfund 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. Worldfund has also been able to show, through standardized test scores, conclusive and quantitative evidence that STEM Brasil has a positive impact on student outcomes.
According to results from the São Paulo state examination, 84% of schools participating in STEM Brasil showed an increase of 20% in their students’ math scores.
In addition to these evaluation measures, STEM Brasil has its own unique online platform called Virtual Learning Community (CAV) where teachers, trainers, and Worldfund 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 Worldfund to monitor teacher performance. All teachers and supervisory staff that currently participate in STEM Brasil are registered in the CAV.
Worldfund gratefully acknowledges the following generous donors for their support of STEM Brasil: