DoDEA STEM Innovation Hub

What is the DoDEA STEM Innovation Hub?

  • It is a targeted group of schools that comprise a feeder pattern and, combined, serve the highest number of military-connected students of any geographic region in Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS). In 2022, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) awarded a $2 million grant to provide targeted interventions to under-represented students, especially those who are military-connected, with opportunities to bolster their participation in STEM subjects.
    Program Goals:
    To create and offer new coursework centered on project-based and inquiry-based learning: increasing the number of elementary and middle school students who earn STEM-related industry certifications; providing high-quality professional development; offering a variety of high-interest STEM-centric clubs, especially for students traditionally underrepresented in STEM; providing opportunities for students to compete in local and national STEM competitions; engaging parents and the community to build awareness in STEM and its benefits for students; and planning and executing at least one STEM-focused community service project each year.
    Parent/Guardian Commitment
    • Support children at home in building interest in STEM
    • Discuss STEM connections in daily life
    • Provide opportunities for students to participate in STEM activities outside of school time

DoDEA District Resource Teacher Contact

Research Findings

  • The STEM Innovation Hub concept is based upon research published by WestEd with support from the National Science Teachers Association, National Science Education Leadership Association, STEM Learning Ecosystems, and 100Kin10 (Parrish et al., 2011). The study examined a “regional model system” which organized schools into geographical clusters and established a feeder pattern. The region’s schools collaborated to align instructional strategies, rubrics, and resources. The model allowed for strong collaboration of teachers across schools within a grade level (horizontal articulation), as well as across the K-12 continuum within the region (vertical articulation). This “regional model” resulted in easier student transitions and higher graduation rates. HCPS expects this approach to be especially effective for military-connected students whose high mobility rates make it more difficult for them to connect to new schools and as they make frequent transitions in and out of learning environments.

What advantages does the DoDEA STEM Innovation Hub Program offer students?

  • Cognitive Benefits
    • Intellectual growth
    • Creativity in thinking and listening
    • Higher order reasoning skills
    Socio-Cultural Benefits
    • Building communication and team-building skills
    • Building critical thinking skills
    • Life skills focusing on areas like leadership and socialization
    • Skills necessary in a global economy
    • College and career readiness
  • photos of STEM at work