STEM Education Insights

Connecting the dots for research-driven education

We support STEM education through:

  • external evaluation
  • curriculum development
  • research
  • data collection
  • quantitative and qualitative analysis
  • grant writing
  • assessment development
  • professional development
  • Trusted

  • Experienced

  • Professional

African American and Hispanic elementary age little girls are building a windmill from a water bottle during an after school science program in a public elementary school library. Students are learning science, technology, engineering, and math while working on science project together.

Our Mission

is to support kids and educators as they learn to do authentic science, engineering, mathematics, and computing. Kids everywhere should have the chance to put learning into practice with fun, engaging experiences.
A female teacher holds up a jar of pod water as she teaches two students about the ecosystem around them during an outdoor science class.  They are each dressed casually and the students are looking carefully as the teacher describes what they are seeing.

Formative Evaluation

We identify the strengths and weaknesses of educational programs for teachers, students, and families in informal settings, and suggest targeted improvements that will better align the programs with their stated goals.

Methods of formative evaluation include: focus groups and interviews with target populations of children, teachers, and parents; analysis of program goals and learning objectives; review of materials against goals and learning objectives; observation of programs in action; debriefs with students and teachers; formal reports to program development staff summarizing findings and recommending changes.  

Curriculum Development

We write curriculum in STEM for kids in preschool through high school. Our biggest strength is in design for learning and engagement: we write to address specific standards and learning objectives, and we develop activities that get kids thinking and doing. We also attend carefully to teacher needs for implementation.

Mixed race female high school student builds a bridge model with a classmate during engineering class.
Teacher and kids school learning ecology gardening

Research and Summative Evaluation

We develop instruments to collect data from students, teachers, and others to give you the information you need to make decisions, or show your program is working. We conduct observations, interviews, focus groups, and assessments. 

Our Experience

Cathy and Liz together have more than sixty years of experience in STEM education.

Cathy Lachapelle

Dr. Cathy Lachapelle fell in love with conducting research on learning as an undergraduate at MIT in 1991. In her doctoral program at Stanford, she learned on the job from the best in the field, working on innovative research and curriculum development programs. For 15 years, she worked on the Engineering is Elementary project, researching and designing engineering and science curricula for kids in preschool through grade 8: first as a research associate, then as Director of Research and Evaluation. In her roles at EiE, she led formative and summative evaluation efforts working with the curriculum and professional development teams, and also served as co-PI of the Exploring the Efficacy of Engineering is Elementary (E4) project.

Today, Cathy devotes her expertise to STEM curriculum development, research, and evaluation for PK-12 STEM at STEM Education Insights. Cathy is also a part-time professor helping to run a master’s program in Learning Engineering – a more student-centric version of Instructional Design – for Boston College.

Elizabeth Parry

Elizabeth (Liz) Parry is an engineer and engineering/STEM educatorLiz spent the first 10 years of her career at IBM Corporation, but since then, she has focused on science and engineering teaching and learning from preschool through college. At North Carolina State University, she directed federal grants aimed at increasing the number and diversity of engineering students, as well as collaborating with P12 classroom teachers to develop and foster the growth of engineering habits of mind through collaborative, hands on engineering activities and lessons. She published research on the engineering attitudes of students and teachers, and worked on grants to bring engineering to young students. Liz has been an active leader in the emerging field of precollege engineering, leading a strategic committee for ASEE on the topic that resulted in the elevation of the field in the engineering education community. She was elected a Fellow of ASEE in 2016, a recognition of her scholarship and service in the field


Throughout her career, Liz has intentionally and joyfully prioritized mentoring in all she does; a conservative estimate of the number of mentees over her career would be well over a thousandIn 2015, she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from President Barack Obama in the White House.