An Evaluation of Innovative STEM Programs and Science Achievement among Secondary Students in SECME, the New Digital Energy Game, and GeoForce, 2012–2013
This study assessed science achievement for students who participated in SECME, NDE, and GeoForce. The programs involve peer collaboration, innovative strategies for learning science, and are aligned to the National Research Council’s (2011) and National Science Foundation’s (2008) goals of creating a more diverse and competitive workforce in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Propensity score matching based on students’ 2012 science performance, school, and demographic characteristics yielded comparison groups for each program. The 2013 outcome science achievement measure allowed for the highest number of program students to be included in the analysis. The findings included that NDE students outperformed their comparison group in 2013 on the Stanford 10 science subtest. The difference was statistically significant (p<.05). GeoForce students attained higher mean scores on the state-mandated STAAR Biology End-of-Course exam compared to their comparison counterpart; however, the difference was not statistically significant. SECME students consistently attained statistically significantly higher mean scores in science on Stanford 10 in 2012 and 2013 than their matched-comparison counterpart (p<.05). Also, there was a slight widening of the gap between SECME students and their comparison group from 2012 to 2013, in favor of SECME students.
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