The impact of a STEM program on academic achievement of eighth grade students in a South Texas middle school
The primary purpose of the study was to examine the impact of a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational program on academic achievement. The study was delimited to 8th graders and outcome measures of mathematics, science, and reading. An ex-post facto, causal-comparative research design was employed. The characteristic-present group consisted of 73 eighth grade students in a STEM academic program. The comparison group consisted of 103 eighth grade students in a non-STEM academic program. On the basis of the centroids, the STEM group outperformed the non-STEM group on all outcome measures. It is concluded that participation in a STEM academic program, where teachers use Project-Based Learning (PBL), collaborative learning, and hands-on strategies, positively impacted eighth grade students' academic achievement in mathematics, science, and reading.