Network: Empire State STEM Learning Network

Purpose: This tool is intended to be used for implementing, building, and strengthening new STEM focused programs. The STEM Rubric can be a guide for continuously improving STEM learning in K-20 and informal learning settings. In addition, this tool will allow for a more cohesive approach to STEM education between formal providers, informal providers, K-12 schools, and colleges and universities.

Usage: The tool represents a high-quality rubric with significant flexibility so it can used be across multiple settings by educators as well as policymakers and practitioners. The rubric was developed by STEM education leaders across New York State representing the NYS STEM Collaborative. The rubric has been piloted multiple regions in New York State and is being used in partnership with other hubs across the State. It allows for practitioners and educators to set benchmarks and goals for providing students with access to high quality STEM resources, curriculum, and assessments.

Impacts: Preliminary feedback from educators and practitioners has been very promising. The rubric has been endorsed by over 30 leading STEM education organizations in New York. The tool established rigorous benchmarks for users to continuously strengthen their approach to delivering STEM programming. Teachers who have piloted the tool shared that the rubric would aided them in designing curriculum that meets K-12 learning requirements with the depth and breadth of content and is aligned with college-level work. As a result, students will be more holistically prepared for future college and career pathways.

Prior research or grounding: In developing the tool, leaders of the Empire State STEM Network, analyzed an array of STEM education programming across the State and identified what key elements made for quality STEM programming at the emerging level, engaged level, and accomplished level. Descriptions of a sample these programs and related research can be found on the Web at:

After careful analysis of these and other quality STEM initiatives, the STEM rubric was developed to help educators and practitioners who are launching or strengthening STEM programs to conduct a self-assessment and identify where they are on the spectrum of quality STEM programming and strategies they may consider for continuous improvement.

Contact: Michelle Kavanaugh, 585.690.7311,  michelle.kavanaugh@wnystem.org