Melanie Maxham

Developing a STEM Empowered Program (10 professional development hours)

This content is available for individual self-paced learning or can be used to facilitate the training of groups of K-8 teachers (in person or online) in Massachusetts.

If this course is being taken to document Professional Development hours, use the checklist (also listed on the left) to document the following teaching lab and reflections.

If you are interested in CEU credit, please contact:

  1. Your regional EPS provider (Educator and Provider Support Partnership) or
  2. BOSTnet

UMass Boston is developing the content which will be available as one-credit courses: ECDH 476 Developing a STEM Empower Program.  Check the website at

Course Description

This course provides knowledge and skills in supporting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) infusion throughout Out-of-School (OST) environments. Administrators learn about  Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, Universal Design for Learning , Thematic Curriculum and Project-Based Learning and explore strategies to implement improved lesson planning and instructional practice, creating a shift in policies and programmatic culture to develop a STEM-empowered program.

These online modules are interactive and engaging, providing experiential learning opportunities as well as reflection.

(If you working directly with children in an Out of school time program, consider taking the course Bridges to STEM learning K-8.)

Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand Standards and Best Practices: STEM in QRIS, MA-CF, key assessment tools (SACERS, APT, Arnett, and CLASS) and Universal Design for Learning
  2. Develop learning and confidence-building activities and a staff motivation plan to help staff overcome barriers to STEM instruction, embrace key concepts, and meet program improvement goals
  3. Describe how to create a programmatic culture shift to support a STEM-empowered program
  4. Align Program Improvement Plan (PIP), Individual Professional Development Plans (IPDPs), and Program Professional Development Plan (PPDP) to these key concepts and to QRIS requirements
  5. Measure success across key assessment tools and understand how to use data
  6. Craft a Program Improvement Plan strand for building a STEM-empowered program


  1. Exploring: Through interactive video lectures and case-study scenarios, administrators learn about vulnerable populations and quality standards, best practices and assessments are introduced.
  2. Planning: After watching the narrated interactive lecture, and an optional YouTube activity video, administrative learners will be asked to craft an implementation plan for educators in their program.  There is a staff motivational survey and an optional discussion/reflection.
  3. Implementation: The last narrated interactive lecture in this course discusses implementation of the program. Planning forms are provided as well as three examples of lesson plans for different age groups.  Reflection and discussions are optional for those who are seeking credit or professional development hours.

Additional Readings

This course is developed by Elise Scott and Susan Vinovrski from BOSTnet.
Funding was provided by the Department of Early Education and Care, Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant.