Icon for: Tracey Hall


CAST, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, YouthBuild USA

CEE-STEM: An Online STEM Career Exploration and Readiness Environment for Opp...

NSF Awards: 1620904

2019 (see original presentation & discussion)

Adult learners

CAST, in partnership with the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and YouthBuild USA, are building and now studying our web-based digital STEMfolio for opportunity youth ages 16-24 who are neither in school nor working. STEMfolio is a portable technology-based learning environment that promotes young people’s agency and accompanies them through different learning and employment contexts. Our theory of action is based on the understanding that opportunity youth may benefit from flexible educational models that provide scaffolds and supports so they can build STEM competencies and explore STEM careers. STEMfolio also supports young people in connecting classroom learning to relevant real-world skills.

STEMfolio was developed by our team using design-based research and design thinking practices. We engaged with young people and staff in rapid prototyping to develop tool components based on the framework of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) which include; an e-portfolio to collect evidence of STEM learning and competency building, video case stories of near-peer role models engaged in STEM careers, rubrics to help evaluate understanding of STEM and STEM competencies, and built-in scaffolds and supports based on the UDL framework

The project is currently investigating the impact of STEMfolio in a randomized control trial in coordination with YouthBuild sites across the United States.

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