Why St. Kate's? +

Why St. Kate's? +

National Center for STEM Elementary Education

St. Catherine University has a long and respected history of producing effective, successful elementary educators. To put it plainly: We know teaching.

That knowledge has informed the development of the National Center for STEM Elementary Education to improve teacher effectiveness, advance student performance, strengthen STEM literacy and increase individual candidate appeal in competitive job markets. At the center of STEM initiatives at the University, the Center focuses on::


The Center is leading the march toward STEM literacy for elementary teachers. We are the first institution of higher education in the country to:

  • Require all elementary education majors complete a STEM certificate program to receive a teaching license, and develop an engineering course specifically for elementary education majors
  •  Integrate STEM curricula into a Professional Development School (PDS) model, known as EcoSTARS, for all elementary education majors
  •  Use a co-teaching approach – pairing education professors and professors from STEM fields to develop and deliver integrated curricula

We are also playing a leading role in developing graduate-level STEM certificate programs so elementary teachers in the field can upgrade their STEM understanding and skills.


Faculty and staff at the Center are developing research models to:

  • Test the efficacy of STEM certificates in achieving STEM literacy for elementary teachers
  •  Evaluate the impact on K-6 students’ learning and understanding of STEM
  •  Evaluate societal attitudes toward STEM, including those of parents, teachers and STEM professionals

Consulting and Outreach

The Center is committed to furthering best-practice models in STEM education to include:

  •  Work with schools and school districts to design STEM curricula
  •  Work with elementary teachers and specialists to integrate STEM curricula to meet state standards