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CEE-STEM: Exploring STEM Careers with Opportunity Youth

Learn how CAST leverages the co-design process with young people around the development of the STEMfolio tool.

Project Name
Career Exploration and Readiness Environment for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (CEE-STEM)

Project Description

Nearly 5 million US youth ages 16-24 are out of work and out of school.

The CEE-STEM project team is seamlessly embedding a new STEM career exploration and engagement tool (STEMfolio) within the YouthBuild program in order to help build learners’ foundational STEM knowledge, skills, and dispositions while also supporting opportunity youth in connecting their interests, readiness, skills, and aptitudes toward relevant STEM career pathways.

STEMfolio will provide young people who have often struggled in traditional schools with a personalized, universally designed way to build foundational knowledge, demonstrate their learning, explore and engage in potential STEM career pathways of interest.

The STEMfolio tool will have four major components:

  1. Scaffolds and supports for access and assistance embedded in both the case and e-portfolio areas based on the framework of Universal Design for Learning.
  2. Multimedia STEM cases that profile relevant role models pursuing careers in STEM fields with opportunities to understand and discuss the pathway to this STEM career.
  3. An e-portfolio for each student in which they can collect information, reflect and record information regarding STEM careers of interest, chronicle their STEM learning in both classroom and job sites related to those careers, and take actions to connect with STEM postsecondary and employment opportunities.
  4. Rubrics that teachers can use to evaluate students’ understanding of various science careers in STEM and the quality of materials in student e-portfolios for a given STEM career pathway.

Meet Irvin

As a YouthBuild Alumnus, Irvin fought through adversity to become a National Forest firefighter. This video and others like it are part of the STEMfolio tool.


2017 – 2021

Funded by

National Science Foundation


University of Massachusetts Amherst
YouthBuild USA

Project Leadership

Tracey E. Hall, CAST
Sam Johnston, CAST (Co-PI)
Michael Krezmien, UMass Amherst (Co-PI)
Martina Nieswandt, UMass Amherst (Co-PI)


For more information about this project, contact Tracey Hall or Sam Johnston.

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