The Impact of STEM Integration on Student Achievement Using HLM: A Case Study
Keywords:STEM education, student achievement, middle school, hierarchical linear modeling, HLM
The study’s purpose was to determine the effectiveness of a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program in an urban, Ohio middle school. The definition of integrated STEM education along with curriculum, standards, and implementation models are described. Participants in this longitudinal, quantitative study were all students enrolled in grades 7-8 beginning in 2012-2013 and continuing for seven years. Per grade level for any given year, there were 25-28 participants receiving the treatment by voluntary enrollment in an integrated STEM education program (containing STEM curriculum and applying pedagogies of project-based learning) and 350-425 control participants receiving general education (defined as traditional and lacking both project-based learning and STEM curriculum). We sought to determine if participation in an integrated STEM education program had an impact on student achievement (measured by Ohio State Test scores) and, if any, interaction effects due to gender, socioeconomic status, student race, and attendance rate were present. The use of hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) determined integrated STEM education had a significant, positive effect on achievement combining math and science (participants scoring 31.8 points higher on average) and in science only (participants scoring 38.2 points higher on average) compared to control participants, respectively. No interaction effects were found. These findings pose strong implications for educational leaders in making teacher training and curriculum decisions with the aim of increasing student achievement.
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