STEP3: Science Teachers Educational Partnership of Pikes Peak

  • Evaluation of science education courses for middle school teachers
  • Project focuses on use of scientific inquiry, literacy strategies, and science content in physical, Earth, and space sciences
  • Funding source: Colorado Department of Education

In early 2008, BSCS began evaluative work on a Math and Science Partnership (MSP) in central Colorado. The collaborative work is with Dr. Paul Kuerbis of Colorado College through the Science Teachers Educational Partnership of Pikes Peak (STEP3). Courses for middle school teachers focus on the use of scientific inquiry, literacy strategies, and science content in the physical, Earth, and space sciences. The role of BSCS is to evaluate effectiveness of STEP3 in these instructional and content areas. Measures include a classroom observations protocol field tested and validated by the BSCS Research and Evaluation Center as well as Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) scores as a student achievement measure. Participating teachers are all from districts in the Colorado Springs Pikes Peak area.

Evaluation questions for this study include:

  1. What is the interim and summative impact of STEP3 on
    1. teachers' understanding of science content?
    2. teachers' understanding of pedagogy?
    3. teachers' ability to align curriculum and assessments with standards?
    4. teachers' ability to develop content-rich lessons based on inquiry?
    5. teachers' ability to implement instructional models within text-based programs?
    6. student achievement in science, reading, writing, and mathematics?
  2. How does the achievement of STEP3 students compare with that of a matched comparison group sampled from participating STEP3 districts?
  3. How does the achievement of STEP3 students compare with norms for the state of Colorado?

 For more information, contact BSCS Science Educator Molly Stuhlsatz.