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A free online strategic planning tool used by schools and/or districts to improve STEM education.

Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway

Pittsburgh, PA, United States
The Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway is built on the belief that school systems, individual schools, and departments can improve their STEM education practices through a positive, collaborative approach. It is designed to help the widest possible range of school districts and schools adopt best practices in STEM education.

What is the Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway?

“The Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway is built on the belief that school systems, individual schools, and departments can improve their STEM education practices through a positive, collaborative approach.”

It’s no secret that careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are the fastest growing industries around the world. In recent years, schools have been embracing STEM education like never before. But the question on educators’ minds is how to best implement and improve STEM practices in their schools. Each school and district has unique needs based on a variety of factors, so a one-size-fits-all strategy is nearly impossible.

Here’s how it works: Schools and districts (known as Pathway Partners) use the Pathway’s framework to determine what successful improvement of STEM education will look like for their institutions. After forming a diverse team of teachers, administrators, and support staff, the Partners take a self-evaluation of their status in the following areas: teacher qualifications, curriculum, instructional practices, assessment and demonstration of skills, family engagement, and real-world connections. The tool then guides the team through the creation of an action plan to help them meet their STEM-related goals.

After completing the Pathway Self-Evaluation, the team formulates a comprehensive action plan that details the specific steps in an implementation plan that your school or district will take to further your STEM-related goals. The tool then generates PDF reports that can be shared with administrators, teachers, and stakeholders.

“The Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway Tool has provided our OC STEM Ecosystem team with focus and structure in our STEM planning,” said Jennifer Shepard, Assistant Superintendent Educational Services, Huntington Beach City School District, in California. “We were able to be very targeted as many stakeholders and individuals provided input, conducted activities, and created positive actions and outcomes for our educators and students. The Carnegie STEM Pathway Tool resource significantly benefited our team’s actions and supported us in our work toward accomplishing our goals!””

But implementing the action plan is not the end of this process. The Pathway is an iterative tool. At the completion of each action plan timeline, the cycle begins again – a new self-evaluation looks at how your school has improved, advises where to now focus your energy, and generates a new action plan. As a Pathway Partner, you will also join a network of schools and districts that are working to improve STEM education for all.

“The Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway is opening the door to a more collaborative approach,” said Rob McKenzie, Instructional Technology Specialist and STEM Consultant for BLaST Intermediate Unit 17, a Pathway Provider. “Schools and districts are asking, ‘How can we build capacity, and can we do this together? Can we make our area and our region STEM stronger together?’”

Watch this video to learn more about the Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway.

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Innovation Overview
5 - 18
Age Group
Tips for implementation
To begin your Pathway, you will need access to the free online tools on STEMisphere and form a STEM leadership team comprised of 5-10 teachers, administrators and support staff.
Connect with innovator
Toni Stith

See this innovation in action

Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway - A Free Resource
Download the free Pathway Playbook
PA's Intermediate Units participated in the Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway
More than 700 Pathway Partners across the globe
News: Rosarian Academy becomes the first Pathway Partner in Florida
Find educational resources on STEMisphere
Pathway Provider Workshop: Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Pathway Provider: Discovery Network


Achievements & Awards


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Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Begin Your Pathway
Register your district, school or program with the Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway.
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Form Your Team and Search for Nearby Provider
Select a diverse team of critical thinkers in your district/school who are passionate about STEM education.
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Discuss STEM Education in Your School/District
From preschool through high school, from vocations classes to extracurricular activities.
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Complete the Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway tool to identify your current status.
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Create Action Plan and Identify Resources
Based on your responses, prioritize up to three goals, and create a plan and a timeline.
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Work Toward Your Goals
Implement your action plan to help reach your goals.
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