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We are a group or STEM education practitioners that are committed to getting learning into the hands of young people! Our philosophy is to provide a forum for educators to develop effective tools and strategies for delivery of quality hands and minds-on learning experiences before, during and after the school day. We believe that students learn by doing and in order for them to learn, they deserve access to an education that prepares them to be critical thinkers that have the tools and skills to actively pursue opportunities in an ever advancing global community and maintain a wonder of the natural world around them. To do this, we design and deliver annual site-based professional development Institutes, promote learning in a hands-on manner with effective materials, and cultivate a community-based approach to STEM education.

We network with science professionals annually online and in person. Next Steps members reconnect annually at the Networking Forum at NSTA’s national and regional conferences. Breakfast is combined with idea sharing, conversation and discussions about advances and changes in science education that matter and impact you.

Our signature event is The Next Step InstituteThe Next Step Institute (NSI) began in Mesa, AZ in 1993 as "an advanced leadership institute for elementary science." NSI is presented every other year in partnership with a member site. Over 2,500 participants from nearly every state and from abroad have attended previous events.

 “I've always felt that the NEXT STEP Institute is THE best professional development experience I can think of to develop leadership within my own organization - bar none.
Ron DeFronzo, Science Resource Specialist, 
East Bay Educational Collaborative


Miles the Monster Supports Next Step with board chair Trisha Herminghaus and director Emily Vercoe before the Dover Delaware race: