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NLT: a STEM course for upper secondary

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Berenice Michels

on 27 September 2013

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Transcript of NLT: a STEM course for upper secondary

a STEM course for upper secondary
Berenice Michels, Harrie Eijkelhof, Nelleke den Braber
RME Conference
September 27 2013, Boulder
What is NLT?
is NLT developed?
is NLT developed?
What results
can be reported?
What research
activities are ongoing?
What effects
does NLT have?
Elective interdisciplinary STEM course
for upper secondary
(high school grade 10 - 12)
in the Netherlands
for students who take
- chemistry
- mathematics
- physics and/or biology
since 2007
two ability levels: havo and vwo
- havo: choose 6 – 8 modules
- vwo: choose 8 – 11 modules
from over 70 modules
Nature, Life &

Essential characteristics of NLT
Focus on interaction between Science and Technology (S&T)
Focus on the role of math in S&T
Focus on S&T study programs and professions
Enhance number of S&T students
giving science oriented 16+ students
an authentic image of S&T,
corresponding with current activities of professional scientists
Enhance coherence sciences
enhance cross-disciplinary collaboration of teachers
enhance cross-disciplinary experiences of students
Development of materials
Cooperation between high school science teachers and scientific experts
Implementation on schools:

Teacher teams, consisting of three or more teachers from different disciplines
Each module consists of
- student material
- teacher material (including assessment tools)
Cyclic development process,
resulting in certification of materials, meeting quality requirements
Enhancing ownership, by stimulating teachers to engage in developing or testing materials
73 context based modules
(25 havo, 48 vwo)
45% of all upper secondary schools offering NLT
10 Regional Support Centres (RSC):
cooperation between universities, polytechnic colleges and high schools
developing and maintaining materials
supporting NLT-teachers, providing PD programs
16% of all upper secondary science students take NLT
Examples of modules
Using GIS for safety
Epidemics in agriculture
Making and tasting bread
Surviving in the International Space Station
Blue energy: energy from salt and sweet water
Forensic science
Driving and drinking
Measuring the Milky Way
Medicin production and consumption
Dynamic modelling
Molecules of life *
Food or fuel? *
Dynamic earth *
Care for your heart
Molecular gastronomy *
Lab on a chip
Data collection and interpretation
* available in English
Research activities
Quantitative analyses of characteristics of NLT students
Qualitative analyses of experiences of schools, teachers and students with NLT
Research into interdisciplinarity aspects of NLT
Analysis of the effect of NLT on the way students select an undergraduate program
NLT teacher teams on nearly all NLT-schools
Students recognize that
NLT introduces them to S&T study programs and professions, and that NLT impacts the choice of their undergraduate program
Student reactions on coherence
[In NLT I discovered] that math is about more than high school lessons.
[I advise other students to take NLT] because it is about the connection between different sciences and technology, so it is more like the real world.
[NLT is] approaching [a problem] from different perspectives, multiple subjects together.
Student reactions on relevance for orientation of study program
NLT showed me my favorite way of learning, which didn't influence the choice of my major, but did influence the choice of my university.
It makes the choice of an undergraduate program more difficult: you get in touch with a broad scope of S&T programs, so you might end up with 3 programs you'd like to choose.
[…] so, NLT is the most important course I took. I am going to study physics, astronomy & mathematics, which I wouldn't have done without NLT: Physics in high school is (…) not challenging enough. NLT gave me a scent of real physics.
Thank you for attending

More information:
NLT-students experience more coherence among science disciplines
NLT modules
Let's take a look at one or more of the translated modules and discuss:
Do you think these modules could be used in your country / lessons? Adaptations?
Do you recognize the role of mathematics in this module? How could it be intensified?
There's an overview of the other modules
Which would be of most interest for you to be translated into English? Why?

Develop your own NLT module...
Starting a new module
Context: central question or sub themes
Concepts and subjects involved
Activities: essential NLT characteristics
Development group, expert input
Check the certification criteria
RSC extending their work to other subjects
learning trajectories
essential characteristics
anchor in educational structure and schools
ongoing development and maintenance of materials
Full transcript