The Baltimore City Schools Middle School STEM Summer Program with VEX Robotics

In 2011 Baltimore City Schools submitted a successful proposal for an Investing in Innovations (i3) grant to offer a three year (2012-2014) summer program designed to expose rising sixth through eighth grade students to VEX robotics.1 The i3-funded Middle School Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Summer Learning Program was part of a larger Baltimore City STEM summer learning program entitled “Create the Solution” in 2012 and “22nd Century Pioneers” in 2013 and 2014. The five-week summer program offered in 2012, 2013, and 2014 consisted of a half-day of instruction in mathematics and science and a half-day of enrichment activities. The robotics workshop taught students the fundamentals of building robots and provided time for teams to build their own robots and participate in competitions. The larger program offered different enrichment activities such as sports or arts.

This report addresses research questions regarding the program’s 1) implementation fidelity, 2) performance goals, 3) impact on student attendance and mathematics achievement outcomes, 4) impact on student aspirations for college, studying STEM subjects in college, and pursuing STEM careers, and 5) impact on measures of teacher effectiveness.

Read the full report here.