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STEM Education Mission

The mission of the STEM Education Research Group is to advance the careers and achievement of learners across the lifespan in STEM areas. The group’s research schema has multi-dimensional theoretical contexts that enable impact focused studies in K-12, community college, and universities settings. Dr. Ragusa and her team target academic, experiential and affective (human related) mediators in their research on student learning in STEM and the mediating factors to such learning and academic achievement in the K-12, community college, and universities educational contexts.
Each area of research is interdisciplinary and linked to either K-12, community college, or university STEM learning (or combinations of these settings) and utilizes a combined social cognitive /guided developmental theoretical frame.
The key areas of research are:
·      Problem–based Learning, Learner-centered Instruction, Mentorship, and Student Achievement in Engineering Education
·      Global Preparedness for Engineering Workforces
·      STEM Creativity and Innovation
·      K-12 STEM Teacher Development and Its Impact on Student Achievement
·      STEM Literacy in K-12 and Colleges/Universities
·      K-12 STEM Motivation and Engagement
The ultimate goal of the research is to study the impact of all these dimensions and contexts on STEM educational and career pathways for diverse students. Dr. Gisele Ragusa leads the team with her expertise in measurement science and STEM education to measure impacts of various STEM interventions that she developed and implemented for students and educators in K-12 and college/university settings. The group’s most recent areas of inquiry are in STEM creativity and innovation and preparedness for global engineering workforces. The future research directions will be to continue to work on this recently launched research agenda, to obtain additional funding to sustain the research, to extend Dr. Ragusa’s inquiry more globally, and to employ technology components that have not been traditionally used in educational studies.


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