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Multiple Instrumental Case Studies of Inclusive STEM-focused High Schools: Opportunity Structures for Preparation and Inspiration (OSPrI)

The aim of this project is to examine opportunity structures provided to students by Inclusive STEM-Focused High Schools (ISHS), with an emphasis on studying schools that serve students from underrepresented groups.

In contrast to highly selective STEM-focused schools that target students who are already identified as gifted and talented in STEM, ISHSs aim to develop new sources of STEM talent, particularly among underrepresented minority students, to improve workforce development and prepare STEM professionals.

Our research team initially identified ten candidate critical components that characterize ISHSs and has subsequently located an additional four critical components through cross-case analysis.

The research used a multiple instrumental case study design. Analysis of the first phase of the study aimed to develop rich descriptions that showcase characteristics of the schools to determine a theory of action that illustrates interconnections among context, design, implementation, and outcome elements. In the second phase of the study, we explored STEM education in traditional comprehensive high schools and inclusive STEM schools from students' points of view, resulting in eight student-level Day in the Life narratives.

Research findings, as well as case studies, records of instrument and rubric development and use, conference papers and publications are available on this website, to provide an immediate and ongoing resource for education leaders, researchers and policymakers to learn about research on inclusive STEM high schools.

STEM Inventory

Download our STEM Inventory: a tool we have created that allows schools to self-asses their STEM programs.


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Want to Experience What It's Like to be a Student in a STEM High School?

Check out our OSPrI "A Day in the Life" Videos:

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