Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Valerie Robnolt

Second Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Edmonson

Third Advisor

Dr. Jonathan Becker

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Tina Manglicmot


The initial purpose of the study was to determine whether the school divisions in Virginia have definitions of STEM education. For the divisions that have described STEM education, the following valuation was based on the precise STEM education definition each has implemented. The population for the study included all 132 school divisions in This mixed-methods study investigated the implementation of STEM programs in Virginia K-12 schools. Data were collected through two avenues: publicly available online resources from school divisions and interviews with STEM leaders in the Virginia educational system. Data analysis on these two sources yielded five themes: (a) existence of sense-making definition of STEM; (b) differentiated STEM programs; (c) scaling embedded STEM integration; (d) interest in STEM drives successful inclusion of gender, minority, and students with disabilities; and (e) standardized testing is a barrier to STEM participation.


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Date of Submission