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STEM Education in Rhode Island

STEM Education in Rhode Island

Information on the importance of STEM Education for ALL students in Rhode Island, including methods of STEM integration and details on STEM initiatives in Rhode Island Pre-K through 12 schools.

elementary student using a microscope to examine an object
Photo by Allison Shelly/The Verbatim Agency for
American Education: Images of Teachers and
Students in Action

RIDE is committed to increasing access to high quality STEM educational opportunities for all students. An understanding of STEM concepts and development of STEM-related skills is needed to prepare future generations to make informed choices and increase the number of qualified candidates for careers in Rhode Island’s growing STEM industries.




Thank you for a successful RI STEAM Month in November!

STEM Education


Alison Murray from Central Falls High School - The 2022 RI STEAM Educator Awardee

See excerpts from the award presentation!


  • Dr Lisa Z. Bain, Director of the RI STEAM Center at RI College for supporting RI educators and students by facilitating RI STEAM Month.
  • Rhode Island Energy for generous funding of the RI STEAM Educator Award and the purchase of STEAM Month swag.
  • Pasco Scientific and Blackstone Valley Tourism Council for providing gifts for our RI STEAM Educator Awardee.
  • Amazing educators who submitted applications for the RI STEAM Educator Award - Nominations and criteria for the 2023 RI STEAM Educator Award will be posted in the spring (due in Fall), start considering educators to nominate!
  • Jonah Townsend of the Warwick Area Career and Technical Center for designing our 2022 RI STEAM Month Logo. Our 2023 Logo Contest will be held in the spring!
  • Community organizations that hosted family events:
    • MobileQuest STEM Center
    • 15 Minute Field Trips
    • Museum of Natural History at Roger Williams Park
    • RI Computer Museum
    • The Empowerment Factory
  • Representatives from teacher associations who helped to plan RI STEAM Month and shared information with their members.
    • RI Science Teachers Association (RISTA)
    • RI Technology and Engineering Educators Association (RITEEA)
    • RI Art Educators Association (RIAEA)
    • RI Computer Science Teachers Association (RICSTA)
    • RI Mathematics Teachers Association (RIMTA)
  • Educators, administrators, and parents who planned in-school events and community celebrations for STEAM Month!

We hope that you find ways to engage students in STEAM year-round!

Feel free to reach out to Carolyn Higgins with suggestions for RI STEAM Month 2023!!

RI STEAM Month highlights the importance of learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art+Design, and Mathematics areas.

  • STEM education integrates knowledge and skills from Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics to engage students in collaborative, problem-based learning experiences that are relevant to their lives.
  • Content-specific knowledge and skills acquired in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics courses are the foundation of STEM education. Conceptual understanding in these areas is deepened by applying the knowledge and skills to think critically and solve problems through integrated STEM activities.
  • STEM education can be supported by the principles of art and design, becoming STEAM education to leverage creative thinking. STEAM education bridges the arts with technical subjects, engaging more students.
  • Students build interest in STEM and STEAM fields through problem-based learning, cultivating the next generation of innovative thinkers.
  • Engaging in STEM and STEAM experiences from pre-kindergarten through high school supports students’ conceptual understanding in science, technology, engineering and mathematics as well as advances STEM literacy for all students.
  • STEM literacy is the capacity to apply knowledge and skills from STEM disciplines with a mindset of innovation and perseverance to develop new understanding and solutions.
  • STEM and STEAM experiences facilitate pathways to high demand careers and equip students to participate in and contribute to our local and global communities.
elementary student using a microscope to examine an object
Photo by Allison Shelly/The Verbatim Agency for
American Education: Images of Teachers and
Students in Action

Stay informed of STEM Opportunities!

STEM Resources for Educators

  • My PBLWorks from Buck Institute: To help schools and districts visualize high-quality PBL in the classroom, the Buck Institute for Education (BIE) has videos showcasing PBL projects from K–12 schools nationwide, including several STEM-themed projects. The projects employ BIE’s research-based Gold Standard PBL model, which emphasizes student learning goals and the incorporation of Essential Project Design Elements (a challenging problem, sustained inquiry, reflection, critique and revision, student voice and choice, and a public product). Teachers can view videos of successful PBL projects that feature teacher interviews and actual classroom footage and highlight projects from a range of grade levels, settings, and subject areas, including STEM.
  • Connectory: A portal, operated by the National Girls Collaborative that supports connections to STEAM learning opportunities that inspire young people to explore, discover, and create. This is a searchable listing of STEM education opportunities, some free and some with a cost, that are offered to students in many locations as well as virtually. Teachers, students, or families can search the listing to connect with providers.
  • FabFems: The FabFems directory is an international database of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions who are inspiring role models for young women. The FabFems directory is accessible to young women, girl-serving STEM programs, and other organizations that are working to increase career awareness and interest in STEM. Through positive role model interaction and increased interest in collaborative STEM projects, the FabFems Project intends to broaden the participation of females in the STEM pipeline and to increase the retention of female professionals in STEM fields and careers. The FabFems Project is designed to facilitate the important connection between young women and STEM female professionals during critical transition points in the career pathway.
  • National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP): The NGCP brings together organizations throughout the United States that are committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The goals of NGCP are maximize access to shared resources within projects, and with public and private sector organizations and institutions interested in expanding girls’ participation in STEM, strengthen capacity of existing and evolving projects by sharing exemplary practice research and program models, outcomes, and products, and use the leverage of a network and the collaboration of individual girl-serving STEM programs to create the tipping point for gender equity in STEM.
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Resources for STEM Education: NSF research and development projects have produced a rich array of principles, materials,and practitioner insights that are helpful guides to improved preparation and professional development of STEM teachers. The following examples illustrate the range of ideas and products available from that work.
  • Spark101: Students learn how real challenges are addressed in business, government, nonprofits, and academic institutions. Professionals from our employer partners guide them to develop solutions and understand the careers. Spark 101 is a program of the 114th Partnership, a national non-profit organization that ensures productive partnerships between educators and employers that connect classwork to professional pathways so that all students graduate from school prepared for college and career.
  • Stairway to STEM: Stairway to STEM is an online resource for autistic students, their parents, and post-secondary STEM instructors. Our mission is to help autistic students realize their capacity for success as they transition to college environments and beyond. We support student confidence, resiliency, and self-advocacy. The goal of the project is to produce tools and events designed to build awareness of academic and employer-based STEM programs among autistic individuals as well as promote existing evidence-based practices to an expanded community of educational institutions, autistic students, and their families and employers.
  • Start Engineering: The goal of Start Engineering is to inspire and engage children from elementary school through high school about engineering. Books and learning resources aim to teach children about the crucial role engineering plays in their lives. They work to engage the larger community of people from academic institutions, companies, foundations, and non-profits working to get kids excited about engineering.
  • STEAM at Work 4 Kids: A collection of profiles of professionals in STEAM fields. Each one includes background and links to videos and resources that are related to the person’s field. This is regularly updated.
  • STEMWorks at WestEd: STEMworks is a searchable online honor roll of high-quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education programs. STEMworks helps companies, states, and individuals make smart investments in their communities by evaluating and cataloging programs that meet rigorous and results-driven design principles.

STEM-Related Programs & Initiatives

STEM-Related Recognition Programs

Professional Organizations for STEM and Supporting Disciplines

STEM Research and Reports

  • STEM Connector: STEMconnector is a professional services firm committed to increasing the number of STEM-ready (Science Technology Engineering Math) workers in the global talent pool. They provide a platform to engage leaders in both public and private sectors who collectively are re-envisioning the workforce. Working with pioneering leaders across over 200 organizations, their overall goal is to inform, stimulate and connect leaders with a passion for and vested interest in growing a STEM-ready workforce.
  • STEM4Collaboration: A research-based document authored by Advance CTE, Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics, Council of State Science Supervisors, and International Technology and Engineering Educators Association in 2018. This document identifies and examines the three main principles to drive STEM education.
  • English Learners in STEM Subjects: Transforming Classrooms, Schools, and Lives (2018) was published by the National Academies Press to address the best practices to include and support English Learners as they are learning STEM concepts. This publication includes discussion of factors that determine access to STEM classes, the roles of cultural connections and language acquisition within STEM instruction, effective instructional strategies, connecting with families and communities, the need for educator preparation and in-service professional development, assessing STEM learning, and building capacity to transform STEM learning for English Learners. Free pdf download available.