PIE Media - Partnership for Innovation in Education | Research Facts & Stats
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Research Facts & Stats

The Innovation Process


Sparks “Real Life” Learning

Adapted from Harvard University, the Case Method Delivers Experiential “Problem Based” Learning to K-12 Classrooms

Short Term Outcomes:

Change in Learning / Understanding

Increase Technology Literacy Among Students and Educators0%
Increase STEM Subject Engagement and Real Life Applications0%
Program Students Increase STEM General Academic Achievement0%
Students Gain an Understanding of Real World Applications of STEM Fields0%
Students Improve Their Attitudes and Aspirations Toward: STEM Careers,

Entrepreneurship, Teamwork, Life-long Learning, Change in Behavior0%

100 %

100% Increase STEM Business Participation in Classroom and Content Development

90 %

90% Increase Educator Use of Inquiry-Based (Case-Based, Socratic) Tools

75 %

75% of Educators Will Reuse the Hands-on Curriculum Materials for Future classes

85 %

Students Will Achieve at Least 85% Proficiency on Critical Thinking Skills, as Measured by Pre- and Post-testing Using State or ACT Assessments

80 %

80% Increase in Awareness and Interest in STEM Careers

90 %

90% Increase in Awareness and Interest in STEM Careers Among Girls and Minorities

Long Term Outcomes:

Change in Condition

  • 1. More students complete high school and attend college
  • 2. More students choose STEM fields in college
  • 3. More students enter STEM careers after college

  • 4. Fewer STEM jobs go unfilled
  • 5. More students are innovative using whole-brain decision-making
  • 6. The US is more competitive in an increasingly STEM world market

PIE Partners:

  • 25% Fortune 100 Companies

  • 25% Arts and Music Organizations

  • 15% Community Nonprofit Organizations

  • 25% of All PIE Partners are Small Businesses with 50 Employees or Less

  • 10% of PIE Partners are Government Agencies
    100% of University Partners are Accredited Higher Education Institutions

Bridging Innovation

PIE Serves as a “bridge” between community industry leaders and K-16 educators.  Programs Embed Innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity into the classroom, while honing social emotional skills such as grit, perseverance and self-direction.

According to the National Science Resource Center Science Education Model, PIE Experiential K-12 Learning Programs Catalyze “Rocket Fuel Results” by Developing:

  • Standards-based Curriculum Materials
  • Teacher Professional Development
  • Reusable, Hands-on 21st Century Curriculum Materials
  • Digital Assessment and Program Evaluation
  • Business, Community, Government and Administrative Involvement

PIE curriculum incorporates the student outcomes recommended by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. These are the skills, knowledge and expertise students should master to succeed in work and life in the 21st century. These critical elements are necessary to ensure 21st century readiness for every student including:

  • Core Subjects (the 3 Rs) and 21st Century Themes
  • Learning and Innovation Skills (the 4 C’s)

• Creativity and Innovation
• Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
• Communication
• Collaboration

    • Information, Media and Technology Skills

• Information Literacy
• Media Literacy
• Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Literacy and Digital Literacy

  • Life and Career Skills

Learning = Doing

Spark Learning & Achievement Success

PIE’s curriculum includes six characteristics of an
excellent STEM lesson, because it:

  • Focuses on real-world issues and problems
  • Simulate the engineering design process
  • Immerses students in hands-on inquiry and open-ended exploration

  • Involves students in productive teamwork
  • Applies rigorous math and science content the
    students are learning. Best-case scenarios involve art as well (e.g. Product design, architecture).
  • Allows for multiple right answers and reframes failure as a necessary part of learning.
STEM develops a set of thinking, reasoning, and teamwork, investigative and creative skills that students will be able to use in all areas of their lives.


Number of Students Currently Involved in PIE Programs


Students Per PIE Classroom


Universities Working with PIE


Partner Businesses and Organizations

The Case Simulation Learning Environment

Pioneered at Harvard University, the PIE curriculum is inquiry-based, challenging, engaging, real world, hands-on/experiential, clear, understood and relevant. The environment is filled with energy, excitement and ongoing interaction between teachers and students. As a result, students develop skills ranging from high-level thinking and creative problem solving to project planning and solution communicating.
For students, the PIE curriculum fosters a classroom environment where:

• Teamwork is strongly valued and a team approach to decision-making is expected;
• Students learn that there is no single “correct” solution to real-world STEM problems;
• Failure is part of the process and expected;
• Everyone can engineer;

• Sharing ideas and learning from others is valued;
• Students’ diversity, individuality and uniqueness are recognized and respected;
• Student work is guided by the engineering design process (ask, imagine, plan, create, improve);
• Learning is understood as a lifelong open-ended inquiry;
• Learning is embraced by doing;
• All students can learn and should be provided equal opportunities to learn.

For educators, the PIE curriculum fosters a classroom environment where:

• Teachers and their students work together as active learners
• Ongoing professional development is vital to continuously improving teaching and learning;
• Teachers are both the targets and agents of change;
• Research and development is integral to providing teachers with new opportunities to continuously improve their craft


Sparking Innovation Produces STEAM

Importance of Balancing STEM with Arts Education

Many studies suggest whole brain decision-making leads to more effective learning outcomes.

The National Endowment for the Arts reports that, ”at-risk students with high levels of arts engagement achieved better outcomes in academics, college enrollment, civic engagement and participation in professional careers than did their peers with low levels of engagement.”

Studies link arts education to the development of cognitive functions, including skills needed for learning. These skills include the spatial-temporal reasoning used in mathematics, and the awareness of pronunciation and patterns of speech needed to learn to read.

The National Center on Education and the Economy states spatial and artistic learning sparks innovation. Likewise, they state, an effective arts curriculum allows students to excel in role play, collaboration, and resource management. Most importantly, intermingling a STEM and arts curriculum allows students to exercise “connectedness” among different cultures, disciplines and subject area — habits and skills needed in all 21st century global careers.


Including Art in the overall lesson addresses creative problem solving, visualization of broad data elements, and the ability to translate idea generation to creating design concepts.

The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) suggests coupling Arts and Design in STEM fields will transform the 21st century “innovation” economy just as science and technology did in the last century.

25 %

Twenty-five Percent of PIE Programs Introduce Art and Music into STEM Curriculum

75 %

PIE Programs Heighten Technology Literacy by 75 Percent Among Students and Educators

100 %

100 Percent of PIE Programs Meet or Exceed State Learning Standards

52 %

PIE Programs Increase STEM Career and College Readiness by 52 Percent

Accelerating STEM Career Interest for Girls and Minorities

Research funded by the OH Department of Education shows PIE programs have a remarkable effect upon girls and minorities.

PIE research indicates that girls and minorities effectively responded to the experiential learning process, and produced higher rates of academic achievement, career pathway engagement and personal confidence in STEM subject capabilities.

Organizations such as the National Science Foundation and the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering indicate more effective programs are needed to encourage girls and minorities to enter STEM careers.

These programs must:

1) Feature greater hands-on” activities showcasing real-world problems,
2) Allow STEM role models to enter the K12 urban classroom with experiential “problem solving” curriculum, and
3) Create more specialized and facilitative teaching resources for urban STEM educators.

By The Numbers

Heighten Technology Literacy Among Students and Educators0%
Increase STEM Career and College Readiness0%
Increase Understanding of Real World Applications of STEM Fields0%
Increase in STEM Awareness Among Girls and Minorities0%