EDC Continues Leadership of NSF STEM Learning and Research Center

Image of Sarita Pillai

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has chosen EDC to continue to lead STEM Learning and Research Center (STELAR), the national center that supports NSF-funded Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) projects. For 13 years, through STELAR and the previous ITEST Learning Resource Center, EDC has advanced the efforts of ITEST projects to enhance PreK–12 STEM learning in and outside of schools, spark students’ interest in STEM, and inspire students to pursue STEM careers—especially students from groups that are underrepresented in the current STEM workforce. To date, EDC and the ITEST program have successfully served 297 projects working with 304,900 youth, 10,500 educators, and 4,100 parents and caregivers across 46 states and the District of Columbia.

From 2016 to 2019, PI Sarita Pillai (at left) and co-PI Caroline Parker will lead a team—including Bernadette Sibuma, Rebecca Schillaci, Joyce Malyn-Smith, Sarah MacGillivray, and Melody Hachey—in providing support and resources targeted to help ITEST projects continue to broaden the participation of diverse populations of students in STEM learning and careers. The next phase of STELAR will feature several new strategic partnerships with national experts:

  • EDC will work with a new Broadening Participation Advisory Council that will provide guidance in identifying and applying strategies for reaching underserved communities.
  • EDC will collaborate with Advance CTE (formerly the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium) to promote increased attention to "middle-level" STEM careers and education pathways to those careers.
  • EDC will team up with the National Career Development Association (NCDA) to provide tools and trainings to help ITEST projects integrate sound career theory, research findings, and best practices into their planned activities.

Sarita Pillai said, “EDC is honored to continue to lead STELAR for the NSF. After 13 years of supporting ITEST projects and sharing ITEST findings, we believe deeply in the potential of this work to improve STEM learning for all students, as well as to strengthen the future STEM workforce. We look forward to collaborating with Advance CTE, NCDA, and our new Broadening Participation Advisory Council. Each new partner’s and advisor’s significant expertise will serve to enrich and expand the support that STELAR provides.”  

Last Updated: September 2016