MTU-led Mi-STAR Partners with Publisher to Expand K-12 STEM Curriculum

Michigan Tech campus in winter
Michigan Tech campus in winter
Michigan Tech and publisher Kendall Hunt announced a new partnership Feb. 1, with Kendall Hunt confirming its expansion of middle school science offerings to include the new “Anchored Science by Mi-STAR” curriculum.

Delivery of engaging and effective science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curricula for students in grades K-12 takes a step forward thanks to a new partnership between Mi-STAR and Kendall Hunt K-12, a division of Kendall Hunt Publishing Company.

Michigan Technological University and Kendall Hunt announced the new partnership Feb. 1, with Kendall Hunt confirming its expansion of middle school science offerings to include the new “Anchored Science by Mi-STAR” curriculum.

Mi-STAR was spearheaded by Michigan Tech faculty and staff, and launched in 2015 with a $5 million gift from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. Mi-STAR has since evolved, growing exponentially into a partnership of universities, school districts and professional societies that develop new curricula, assessments and professional learning programs to support teachers who are implementing the new Michigan Science Standards.

“We are grateful for the support of the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation and our partnership with Kendall Hunt,” said Michigan Tech President Rick Koubek. “Our partnerships align with Michigan Tech’s mission to educate and innovate in ways that improve our communities. It’s also another way that, as the state’s flagship technological university, we help promote STEM education and excellence in our state.”

The “Anchored Science by Mi-STAR” curriculum allows students to become solution-builders, addressing and working their way through challenges within each of the curriculum’s units. Each unit’s challenges promote learning by piquing students’ interest at the beginning of the unit and providing a framework for each lesson. The program incorporates the Next Generation Science Standards and empowers students to use science and engineering practices to address relevant, real-world issues.

“Our K-12 team is extremely excited to add this all-new, student-centered science curriculum into our middle school program offerings. With this new addition, our curricula options will continue to provide teachers and students with the right tools and resources they need for continued success year after year,” said Kendall Hunt K-12 Vice President Charley Cook.

Previously, Mi-STAR materials were available online only. The partnership with Kendall Hunt addresses the expressed desire of Michigan teachers and students to have print materials. School districts and teachers may purchase the materials from Kendall Hunt if desired. Michigan teachers who subscribe to Mi-STAR can continue to do so and will have access to the online materials through the password-protected Mi-STAR portal. 

“This partnership is an important step to ensure the investment many have made—including the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Michigan Department of Education, and schools and districts throughout the state—in developing Mi-STAR into the most innovative middle school science curriculum in the nation,” said Marianne Semones, Mi-STAR program director.

Launched with the help of 16 teachers in Michigan schools or districts, Mi-STAR is now a recognized leader in the middle school science curriculum marketplace. More than 750 middle school teachers in Michigan—approximately one-third of the total number of science teachers in the state, from 113 different school districts—use Mi-STAR.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.