02 May What defines a STEM school?

elements of a stem school

The STEM School Study (S3) team sat down with inclusive STEM school leaders from over 25 inclusive STEM schools and asked them to describe the parts of their schools that are essential to their school models. We found that while STEM schools vary in many ways, there are eight major Elements common to them all. Each Element is comprised of a number of components and together, they illustrate what STEM schools are and lay the groundwork for understanding how STEM schools work to achieve their goals.


The 8 Elements include six core Elements that we equate with the STEM schools' key educational goals:

  1. Rigorous Learning;
  2. Problem-Based Learning;
  3. Personalization of Learning;
  4. Career, Technology, and Life Skills;
  5. School Community and Belonging; and
  6. External Community.
  7. Staff Foundations and
  8. Essential Factors.

In this report, read about the 8 Elements, how we developed this framework, and how it can be useful to you.

ELEMENTS-OF-STEM-SCHOOLS.pdf