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STEM Literacy in the Classroom to Enable Societal Change

, Tennessee Technological University, United States ; , Carson Newman University, United States ; , Oak Ridge National Laboratory, United States

CITE Journal Volume 21, Number 2, ISSN 1528-5804 Publisher: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, Waynesville, NC USA


The STEM Literacy in the Classroom to Enable Societal Change project provided professional development for 24 mathematics, science, and science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics (STEM) teachers of grades 6-12. The project included a 2-week summer institute and one follow-up Saturday during the fall semester, for a total of 54 contact hours. Training focused on the use of engineering challenges that address current societal issues as a means to develop middle and high school teachers’ knowledge and use of coding, robotics, 3D printing and modeling, technical reading and writing (LaTeX), statistical analysis skills, and content and pedagogical skills. Results indicated statistically significant increases in content knowledge and technological pedagogical content knowledge and transfer of the use of 3D printing and methods for flipping instruction such as creating screencasts in the classroom. Although participants did not describe specific instances of using technical reading and writing in their classrooms, they felt better prepared to use and teach these skills. The authors propose an innovative approach to teaching disciplinary computational thinking (CT) with the use of real-world challenges. Recommendations for integrated STEM professional development include developing teachers’ disciplinary CT skills within the context of problem-based activities in mathematics and science classrooms rather than within standalone computer science courses and providing opportunities for teachers to coach others within their school system to encourage sustainability of training.


Suters, L., Suters, H. & Anderson, A. (2021). STEM Literacy in the Classroom to Enable Societal Change. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 21(2), 491-526. Waynesville, NC USA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education. Retrieved September 19, 2021 from .