Measuring progress. Inspiring action.

STEM in Minnesota

Inspire Interest

Interest in STEM can be nurtured early. Hands-on and experiential learning opportunities encourage curiosity and confidence in understanding and applying STEM skills to everyday life. Providing both in- and out-of-school activities in elementary and middle school can build lifelong interest in STEM.
Concern has been raised about declining instructional time spent on science in recent years. Looking at the amount of science instruction 4th-grade students get every week provides a measure of students' formal opportunities to learn science.
Initial interest in STEM is formed or discouraged early. The percentage of 4th-grade students who like studying science provides a measure of interest in STEM in the elementary years.
Students need to build skills in elementary and middle school to prepare for the more challenging coursework in high school. Proficiency in 5th-grade science helps determine if students are getting the building blocks they need.