Network: Ohio STEM Learning Network

Purpose: The Ohio STEM Learning Network offers to review draft applications for any school seeking STEM designation in Ohio. Reviewers are recruited from OSLN partners and they use the same rubric as the STEM Committee when providing feedback to applicants. Each application is reviewed by at least 2 reviewers and feedback is provided to applicants. This process usually takes place about 4-6 weeks prior to the deadline for STEM designation applications to the Ohio Department of Education.

Usage: The tool provides reviewers with an overview of the STEM school designation purpose and process and includes a rubric that is used to assess schools applying for the STEM school designation in Ohio.

Impacts: The tool has served Ohio well. It has ensured a consistent definition of STEM schools are applied across the state. About 50% of the schools who apply for the designation are approved. The Ohio Department of Education continues to seek OSLN’s guidance in the designation process. The process has been adapted for use in other STEMx states, including TN and IN.

Prior research or grounding: The tool is based on many years of supporting and overseeing STEM schools in Ohio. During this time, the process has been refined through lessons learned about the essential features of high-quality STEM schools. The wisdom of practice has been confirmed by ongoing research on inclusive STEM schools being conducted by George Washington University and SRI

Contact: Stephanie Johnson,, 614-424-4841