Transforming STEM Learning in Urban Schools Using the SSMV Model

July 12th, 2011 - June 30th, 2016 | PROJECT

The overall goal of the current proposal is to adapt the interdisciplinary research-based curriculum created at the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt (SSMV) for implementation of a four-year program in three Metropolitan Nashville Public School (MNPS) high schools. The specific aims of the proposal are to adapt the on-campus (at Vanderbilt) model for implementation in three public high schools with different academic profiles (SSM Academies); to define the variables and features required to sustain the program and to replicate the model in any high school setting; and to define a strategy for disseminating the model to additional schools. Students entering 9th grade in a school in which an SSM Academy has been implemented will be encouraged to apply. Those who are accepted into the program will spend three hours every other day in two courses based on the adapted curriculum. As with the SSMV, rising seniors will have opportunities to enter Vanderbilt laboratories for summer research internships. Teachers from the high school will work with Center for Science Outreach scientists to adapt the SSMV curriculum for implementation. Ongoing, year-long teacher professional development will be conducted to ensure that the curriculum is dynamic and the teachers are well-prepared to engage and guide the students in the curriculum. The anticipated outcomes include enhanced student achievement as measured by GPA, and scores on ACT science reasoning and end of course tests; increased SSM student interest in careers in science; increased district-wide enrollment in SSM programs; increased graduation rates and postsecondary education enrollment by SSM students; development of unique curricular science units that can be adapted for a novel four-year interdisciplinary research- based curriculum; development of a sustainable model built on effective features of each SSM that can be exported to other high schools within and outside Nashville; enhanced community and family involvement in the SSM programs and school community in general; a strengthened partnership between Vanderbilt and MNPS that will serve as a national model of a successful university-K-12 collaboration to enhance science teaching and learning.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Team Members

Virginia Shepherd, Principal Investigator, Vanderbilt University Medical Center


Funding Source: NIH
Award Number: 1 R25 RR032182-01


Access and Inclusion: Urban
Audience: Educators | Teachers | Scientists | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Health and medicine
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Informal | Formal Connections | K-12 Programs | Laboratory Programs | Public Programs | Summer and Extended Camps