The project has three components: an affective curriculum component, a series of STEM enrichment activities for students, and a training program for teachers. There are three tiers, each lasting approximately six weeks:  

  • Tier I, which is open to all students schoolwide, provides students with STEM talent development and identifies students who could benefit from additional programming in small groups. Tier I includes training for teachers on relationship-focused teaching methods with an emphasis on improving student engagement in instruction and meeting students’ socio-emotional needs; identification procedures; and differentiation for high-potential students. Tier I student activities are self-paced and can be used within a flexible class period during the school day or at home.  
  • Tier II includes training teachers on the Integrated STEM Talent Development Model (INSTEM) curriculum, which brings together social and emotional learning and hands-on engagement with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics activities, and STEM enrichment activities for the students. Tier II enrichment activities are designed to be led by a teacher in a minimum of 12 hours, typically over the course of 6 weeks; each of the meetings will include at least one activity focusing on social and emotional need and a STEM enrichment activity.   
  • Tier III includes personalized talent development through one-on-one or small group achievement mentoring. Students will be matched with a mentor, with whom they will work on real-world, problem-based projects and receive advanced support in reaching their STEM-related career goals. Mentors will be STEM professionals or advanced graduate students with experience in industry. Teachers will facilitate students’ meetings with mentors and provide students with training with an affective curriculum focusing on STEM- and SEL-related topics.