The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Program Quality Assessment (STEM PQA) is an evaluation tool that examines the quality of instruction and other setting characteristics during STEM offerings. The STEM PQA is a standardized, observation-based measure that provides a score (1, 3, or 5) based on the degree to which a practice/characteristic was present for all youth in the setting.
The STEM PQA was initially used to evaluate the Providence After School Alliance’s AfterZone Summer Scholars Program, a program that instructed middle school students on hands-on, project-based STEM learning activities. See the one-page summary of the pilot study for more information.
Note that the STEM PQA is free, but interested users must complete and submit a form to the institution to receive the survey. However, a full technical report that includes instrument development and context, data collection and design, reliability and validity information, and sample items and scales is available. Both the one-page summary and the technical report provide recommendations for using the STEM PQA, including this recommendation: “At this time, the STEM supplement is not appropriate for high stakes uses. Scores on the STEM supplement should not trigger consequences that observed staff experience in a negative way. However, it is suitable for purposes of performance feedback to staff in low stakes conditions. This tool can serve a positive educational purpose and support continuous improvement planning and action.”