BEST Project Program Summary: 2011 – 2014
Funded by two grants from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Towson University’s Baltimore Excellence in STEM Teaching (BEST) Project aims to improve high school and middle school science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) instruction throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area. As part of Towson University’s Center for STEM Excellence, the BEST Project offers training and mentoring opportunities to in-service STEM teachers as well as educational outreach to their students.
The BEST Project is an extremely beneficial continuing education opportunity for STEM teachers as well as their students. Participants state that their summer research experience has positively impacted their work in the classroom and they enthusiastically recommend the BEST Project to other teachers. A 17-year veteran teacher professed, “I have gained so much during this 6 week internship. The biggest gain has been a renewed self-confidence [which] will show through in my classroom and with other faculty and the administration. I feel that my credentials as a scientist just got a boost. It's the BEST!” Another teacher expressed that the program allowed him “to view the classroom as a learning environment where mistakes are okay and we are to learn from them. Give up control and go with the flow. Students are curious and perform great work when given the opportunity.” Recognizing that one teacher has the power to influence thousands of students during his or her career, the broader impacts of participation in BEST are profound.
In addition to outstanding gains in middle and high school STEM teaching, BEST Project research mentors, their institutions, as well as the STEM education research community are positively impacted by the program. BEST summer projects contribute to the mentors’ research agenda, foster collaboration with K-12 schools, and positively influence college teaching through the sharing of best instructional practices. BEST Project empirical research findings have been presented at four prestigious international/national science education conferences and published in top-tier peer-reviewed professional journals, advancing knowledge about effective STEM teacher training. Additional program highlights are listed below.
Information about BEST Project Teacher-Interns and sponsoring research institutions and mentors can be found at
If you have questions about the BEST Project or our education research findings, please contact Rommel Miranda at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in other professional development and outreach activities provided by Towson University, please explore the links on the web page at