The UMass STEM Researchers created an extensive curriculum and research study specifically designed to work with the SSL and state and national frameworks. The curriculum is designed to teach science, technology, engineering, and math problem solving skills to students that will be used in real world job situations.

Led by Dr. Morton Sternheim these science educational professionals will create learning opportunities and inquiry-based curriculum modules for the partner schools and support the participating teachers. This team will be led by retired science educators, Robert Snyder and Chris Emery; Holly Hargraves is the assessment coordinator for the project and Marie Silver will serve as a liaison between the teams and the schools. Hughes Pack, a senior science faculty member at Northfield Mount Hermon, Mount Hermon, MA is assisting with curriculum development and quality control.


Research for the grant and for further curriculum is being directed by Dr. Martina Nieswandt, Associate Professor of Teacher Education & Curriculum Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Education. Dr. Nieswandt’s primary areas of research are motivation, affects and cognition in learning and teaching science in all grades (K-12) as well as issues of English language learners in science classes.


The Project is developing curriculum that will be integrated into existing school curriculum and therefore works with teachers as collaborators. The first wave of professional development for teachers has revealed both strengths and weaknesses in implementing this model and is in repeated stages of iterative improvement. One definite outcome has been the positive feedback that has been received from teachers from several disciplines. Teachers are excited to see their students responding with positive attitudes towards the SSL. “With hands on activities the students are more apt to want to learn about a subject than reading it out of a book.” The STEM curriculum and the SSL has brought new and exciting lesson plans, to the classroom for middle schools, high schools, vocational
and technical schools.