Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Curriculum and Standardized Test Scores in Middle School Students
Hammonds, Michelle 1984-
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Numerous research studies and international assessments have shown there is a need in the United States to strengthen middle school students’ math and science skills before they enter high school. Studies have shown that it is during middle school, sixth to eighth grades, that mathematics and science education is most crucial. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (2009), in science, as grade level increased from fourth to eighth and then to twelfth, the number of students who scored at or above the basic level declined, as did the number of students who scored at or above the proficient level. In mathematics, U.S. eighth grade students ranked 15th in the world in math achievement, but ranked near the bottom of all industrialized nations by the time they are in high school. This study examined whether using STEM curriculum would impact state standardized test scores in mathematics and science for eighth grade students at a middle school located in the southern United States. The study followed a quasi-experimental, nonequivalent control group design and found there was no statistical significant difference between the two groups. Further study should be conducted to evaluate other units of the curriculum for a longer period of time as well as other curricula.