Our STEM Portfolio: Boosting Scientific and Technological Advancement

As the United States and other nations strive to lead the world in scientific discovery and innovation, assessing the success of policies and programs in STEM—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—becomes increasingly important.

As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, Mathematica is proud to release new online content highlighting the latest evidence on STEM programming. These studies are supported by government agencies and private foundations to help train and diversify the STEM workforce. The evidence generated and lessons learned through these studies help practitioners, funders, and policymakers design, implement, and improve policies and programs that promote learning, scientific discovery, and innovation.

Our STEM work focuses on the following areas:

  • Pre-K to grade 12. STEM initiatives in education from pre-K to grade 12 aim to improve math and science curricula, promote learning, and encourage students to pursue postsecondary degrees in STEM fields. Mathematica’s work in this area has helped advance our understanding of effective math curricula and teaching and programs to improve college readiness among disadvantaged students. For example, we conducted a national study to assess the effectiveness of four math curricula and found that some produce greater achievement gains than others.

  • Higher education. At the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels, STEM initiatives aim to build and diversity the scientific workforce and expand frontiers of knowledge. Mathematica continues its partnership with the National Science Foundation to integrate monitoring and evaluation efforts in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program.

  • Research. Promoting research and innovation in evaluation methodologies enhances our understanding of the scientific workforce and the contribution of policies and investments to STEM knowledge and discovery. We are working with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to foster methodological innovations in evaluating investments in basic science research.

  • International. Policy analyses and evaluations of interventions often focus on efforts to foster STEM skills, build the scientific workforce, and promote research around the world. Mathematica’s work in this area ranges from documenting the skills gaps that hinder productivity growth in Latin America to evaluating technical and vocational education in Georgia.

  • Data collection and management. High quality data is critical for STEM research, evaluations, and stand-alone national surveys used to provide up-to-date statistics to monitor the characteristics of the scientific workforce. Mathematica provides technical support to the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) on the Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System and recently advised NCSES on the use of crowdsourcing as a cost-effective strategy for survey testing.