S3 is a mixed-methods study. We use quantitative and qualitative strategies to answer our core research questions.
To understand the essential components of schools, we use a detailed interview and coding process.
To measure the implementation of essential components, we use teacher, student, and school leader questionnaires. These questionnaires were developed in earlier STEM school research, and have been refined in S3 to precisely and reliably measure how schools implement strategies and practices.
We get a richer portrait of essential component implementation through our qualitative data collection. In 2014 and 2015, we will visit several of our schools to see their essential components in action. We will observe activities and classes, talk in depth to teachers and students, and generally learn what it means to be a part of an inclusive STEM high school.
To understand student outcomes, we work with schools each year to collect student-level achievement data (student GPA, test scores, and other data when available). We link questionnaire responses to school-provided data to understand how different essential components and patterns of implementation may be related to student achievement.
In addition, we are working on a post-graduate questionnaire for a sample of students who have graduated from participating schools. These questionnaires will help us understand how post-grads reflect on their STEM experience and feel that it has helped prepare them for life after high school.