STEM Student Research

STEM Student Research

Northwestern University with solar car team and elementary students

The goal of OSEP’s STEM Student Research program is to support and build the capacity for high school student STEM research and design programs. To achieve this goal, this program provides targeted teacher professional development opportunities and builds collaborative learning experiences for K-12, industry, and academic stakeholders interested in research and design programs that provide students with inquiry-based, hands-on learning opportunities.

STEM Student Research Facilitation Course

The STEM Student Research Facilitation Course is an online professional development opportunity for STEM teachers to develop or advance a program that facilitates their own students’ research.

Course details:

  • Learn about models and tools for implementing student research in your school or district
  • Advance your local planning efforts to facilitate student research opportunities
  • Target: High School Teachers, encouraged to come in teams
  • Duration: 11 weeks
  • Format: online through Canvass at Northwestern University
  • 44 professional development credits available

For more information contact Emily DePalma at

Project Showcase

Each year OSEP hosts the High School Project Showcase in partnership with Northwestern’s Office of Undergraduate Research and its Undergraduate Research and Arts Exposition.

The High School Project Showcase is a part of OSEP's work to engage in partnerships with Chicago-area high schools to improve the quality of STEM instruction, increase the number of students doing inquiry-based, hands-on learning projects, and prepare students for their post-secondary education.

At the High School Project Showcase, 9th-12th grade students from the Chicago area present their STEM projects. Students are selected from those who complete STEM projects as part of their research and project-based math and science curricula at their school, through an independent student research or STEM course or club, or as entirely independent projects.

Highlights of the day include:

  • Opportunity to view Northwestern undergraduate student research projects
  • Presentation of high school student research projects
  • Lunch and Prizes
  • Award Ceremony

Check OSEP’s News and Events page for more information on the High School Project Showcase.

STEM Summit

OSEP hosts the annual STEM Summit; Chicago’s only gathering that brings together K12 educators and leaders, industry, and academia.

This is a capacity building conference designed to build a community of practice among formal and informal educators including teachers and administrators and stakeholders from industry, government, and non-profit who are innovating for STEM/STEAM education.

The Summit focuses on:

  • Inquiry and problem-based teaching and learning in STEM
  • STEAM learning focused on design thinking 
  • Activities that highlight the integration of STEAM subjects
  • NGSS and Common Core implementation and alignment
  • NGSS and the implementation of engineering practices and tech design across the curriculum
  • Integrating 21st century skills with STEM/STEAM content
  • Partnerships in STEM/STEAM education
  • Leadership in STEM/STEAM education

Many thanks to our partners and sponsors of the STEM Summit: the Motorola Solutions Foundation and R&D STEM Learning Exchange.

Check OSEP’s News and Events page for more information on the STEM Summit.

STEM Communication Module

OSEP has developed an online Principles of STEM Communication module to provide students and teachers with the most current research and practice on communicating STEM project work through visual and oral communication. Communicating one’s work to diverse audiences at school-based events and state and national science fairs and competitions, such as the Junior Academy of Sciences, is key to demonstrating understanding and the importance of STEM research and design projects and also further develops 21st Century Skills and meets Common Core State Standards in Literacy.

We thank our Northwestern University partners and collaborators on the STEM Communication Module: the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA) and Ready, Set, Go (RSG).

MORE – Mentorship Opportunities for Research Engagement

OSEP sponsors Mentorship Opportunities for Research Engagement (MORE). MORE exists to provide graduate and post-doctoral students with opportunities to mentor high school students in STEM. Through various programs and initiatives, MORE aims to expand Northwestern University’s connections with local high schools to engage students in real science.

OSEP’s STEM Student Research program is sponsored by

Motorola Solutions Foundation

Contact Us

Office of Community Education Partnerships

2120 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
Northwestern University