2021 DRK-12 PI Meeting Call for Proposals

2021 DRK-12 PI Meeting: Reimagining STEM Education and Research
Submissions due April 21, 2021

The Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education (CADRE), the resource network for NSF DRK–12 awardees, is pleased to host the 2021 DRK–12 PI Meeting. Primary synchronous programming will occur June 15-17. Additional programming (e.g., meetings with program officers, asynchronous viewing of project posters, networking opportunities) will begin June 1. The meeting will provide opportunities for learning, networking, and substantive conversations for DRK–12 project members and collaborators, NSF program directors, CADRE Fellows, postdocs, and guests. The purpose of the meeting is to engage the DRK–12 community in:

  • Addressing the critical needs and opportunities that the events of the last year have highlighted 
  • Building and sharing new knowledge, best practices, and tools critical to increasing the impact and sustainability of our collective work over time
  • Developing and maintaining professional connections that may result in future collaborations and innovations
  • Supporting attendees at different stages of their careers and projects at different stages in their cycle of research

The meeting will be guided by the overarching theme, Reimagining STEM Education and Research. The events of the last year have affected each of us, STEM education, and the research we do. The PI meeting offers an opportunity to take account of the impact of those events, share the ways we have adapted and transformed our work, and reimagine the future of STEM education and research. 

Each of the three days of central synchronous programming (June 15-17) will focus on different aspects of the theme, building from our current understandings and experience toward our plans for a reimagined future in STEM education and research.  Programming during these primary days will begin midday and end in the early evening in Eastern Time.

There will be two strands that run through the three days as we explore the theme through the lenses of 1) STEM Education and 2) STEM Education Research.

  • Day 1 | The current state of education and research
    • Concurrent sessions enable participants to discuss the effects of the pandemic, social justice movements, and critical scientific and societal issues (e.g., climate change) on education and research, and examine gaps in the field (that were perhaps brought into higher relief over the last year).
    • Sample Topics: How the move to distance education has shaped learning and motivation for students; challenges of student assessment; socio-emotional health of students and teachers; need for different kinds of teacher professional learning opportunities; disrupted career trajectories for early career scholars; impacts of modified research programs on evidence base
  • Day 2 | Immediate opportunities based on learnings from the last year and re-envisioned priorities 
    • Concurrent sessions highlight innovations, approaches, and resources/tools that grew out of and/or are responsive to the current context (e.g., remote learning strategies and tools, new methodologies).
    • Sample Topics: New approaches for virtual teacher professional development; use of adaptive/AI technologies for distance learning; strategies for reaching marginalized student communities; new ways of working with archived data; new methods and tools for remote data collection
  • Day 3 | Planning for the future
    • Concurrent sessions enable participants to discuss how we envision the future of education and research, and how our research can help build towards the best version of that future.
    • Sample Topics: How has the mass application of distance and blended learning changed schooling permanently; addressing the needs of the most vulnerable and marginalized populations; emerging technologies that support rapid pivots in teaching and learning contexts; building adaptable observation protocols; equitable research methods and instruments

Additional programming (e.g., networking, technical assistance, poster sessions, meetings with POs) will occur during and outside of the three synchronous days outlined above.

CADRE, NSF, and the DRK–12 PI Meeting Committee* are pleased to announce a Call for Proposals. The Call for Proposals is informed by the input of the DRK–12 PIs through survey responses, past DRK–12 PI Meeting evaluations, NSF, and the PI Meeting Committee.

Concurrent sessions will be offered in virtual Zoom meeting rooms accessible via the meeting platform. All session presentation teams should include one or more project members capable of managing the technical aspects of the session (e.g., muting and unmuting participants, managing breakout rooms) and one or more people to manage the chat. CADRE and event staff will offer training for presentation teams and technical support in the event of problems during the session.

Session Content
CADRE invites proposals for concurrent sessions that are responsive to the purpose of the meeting, address the focus as outlined above, and speak to topics of potential interest to DRK-12 project members and meeting guests. Concurrent sessions must go beyond a simple showcase of project work; poster presentations are reserved for this purpose. Rather, concurrent sessions should address multiple perspectives on one of the topics outlined above. We also invite sessions outside of these focal areas that address problems of practice and/or other areas of interest to the DRK–12 community and that will advance the knowledge and impact of our research and development efforts. (See below for instructions about how to submit a proposal or content suggestion outside of the meeting focus.). Furthermore, we invite awardees to engage their project collaborators from across sectors (e.g., evaluators, practitioners, etc.) in the development of session ideas and designs, noting that these project collaborators will be invited to attend and co-present at the meeting.

Session Structures (30 min. or 1 hour)
Awardees are invited to submit proposals of the following session types and formats:

  • Thematic Session: Sessions must involve the collaboration between multiple projects to develop a topic, lead the session, and facilitate discussion. Sessions must provide multiple perspectives on specific aspects of the focal topics, approaches to common challenges in DRK–12 work and research, and/or responses to a question that might inform other projects. Possible structures that allow for interaction include (but are not limited to):
    • Panel: Multiple presenters representing multiple DRK-12 projects form a panel to discuss and provide perspectives on a topic that spans their work. Panels must include an opportunity for small group discussion, and/or Q&A, and/or other participant interactions.
    • Fishbowl: Presenters seated inside the “fishbowl” participate in a discussion, while attendees sitting outside of the “fishbowl” listen carefully. Individual audience members may take turns entering the “fishbowl” and the discussion may be followed by breakout groups, and/or presenters may engage the whole group in discussion, Q&A, and synthesis. 
    • Lightning Talks: Presenters each give brief (no more than 5 minute) overviews of their perspective on a topic, maximizing time for participant discussion, Q&A, and/or breakout activities.
  • Technical Assistance Session: A single or multiple presenters provide knowledge and skill building (e.g., methods, instrument design) to session participants. They may share technical and/or methodological innovations and expertise (e.g., an instrument designed or adapted in response to the remote learning scenarios of the last year). The knowledge or skills shared during this session must be applicable outside of the presenters own project, and participants should have the opportunity to apply the knowledge or practice the skill under the guidance of the presenters during or following the session.
  • Working Session: Working sessions are focused on engaging small groups of participants in producing a concrete deliverable. As an example, a working session might summarize a group of adaptive innovations that have been developed in response to the changes in education over the last year, or produce recommendations for future research in an area.

Collaboration Across Projects
CADRE encourages grantees to coordinate sessions with colleagues across institutions and projects. For those interested in finding colleagues engaged in work that may, when paired together, create the basis for a compelling session, we invite you to review the list of invited projects (which we will update as NSF announces new awards) and visit cadreK12.org to learn more about their awards. Contact cadre@edc.org for information about possible matching projects.

Proposal Submission Instructions
Please submit your proposal online no later than COB April 21, 2021. Since you will not be able to return to the site and edit your submission, we suggest that you collect the required information ahead of time—using the template (Word, Google Doc) as a guide—and transfer the information to the survey when ready.

Proposals should include the following. More detailed information is available in the session submission template (linked above).

    • Session title, format, length, capacity
    • Session focus, strand
    • Keywords (e.g., target audience, content area, grade band)
    • Question or issue that is the primary focus of the session
    • Session summary (25 word limit) and description (500 word limit, no graphics): Include how the session will address the daily focus topic, objectives, structure/format, plan for interaction with the participants of the session, and expected outcomes. We anticipate that at a minimum, standard Zoom features (e.g., chat, breakout rooms, etc.) will be available for each session, but will work with presenters of accepted sessions to adapt their design based on additional or alternative functionality that may be available. If your proposed session will not address one of the three focal topics, please include an argument for the importance of the topic and discussion you are proposing. Proposals must define a specific plan for participant engagement.
    • Presenter information (i.e., name, organization, contact information, DRK-12 project): Presenters must be registered for the 2021 DRK–12 PI Meeting. Registration is open to active DRK-12 PIs (or PI substitutes) and up to 2 project team members and collaborators. Each presenter is allowed to lead only one session but may be a co-presenter on more than one session.
    • Technical plan and staffing: Proposals must define a plan and identify staffing to manage the sessions’ technical aspects, e.g., screen display, breakouts, muting.

Other Opportunities to Present
The following opportunities do not require a full session proposal.

  • PI Meeting Committee-Organized Sessions: If you would like to share an aspect of your work and/or discuss a problem of practice but don’t know of other projects to present along with you, let us know. For instance, have you found an approach to adapting your observations, developed new ways to work with archived data, or created a new instrument to assess online engagement? We may be able to match you with other potential presenters. Please email cadre@edc.org with a description of your idea.
  • Roundtables: We will organize round table discussions to support conversations in areas of common interest. We will collect suggestions through the meeting registration. During the meeting, participants will be able to organize impromptu discussions around topics of interest.
  • Poster Sessions (including Digital Learning Arcade): During and following meeting registration, every project will have the opportunity to sign up to present a poster. Posters will be the primary mechanism to share information and products about individual projects.

Review Process
Proposals will be reviewed by the PI Meeting Committee and CADRE staff. The final agenda will combine sessions and interactions that are varied in structure and content. If a session is chosen for inclusion in the meeting, the session contact person will be notified by early May. Those whose session proposals are accepted will be expected to engage in additional conversations with the meeting organizers to discuss the session plan in order to ensure quality and coherence across the agenda, as well as technical preparedness.

Criteria for selection follow:

  • A complete proposal (i.e., containing all relevant elements outlined in proposal submission instructions above).
  • Effective plan to engage session participants in discourse and/or activity that has the potential to benefit the participants, such as when a product is developed, new ideas are generated and documented, and materials are shared.
  • Potential to generate new insights or research directions for the DRK–12 community as well as the field at large.
  • Evidence that the presenting team includes technical planning and staffing to ensure the success of the session.

All presenters must upload their presentation materials prior to their session. 

All sessions will be recorded and posted online for viewing by registrants. If your presentation includes data or information that is private, please contact cadre@edc.org for a recording waiver.

More information about presenter responsibilities, subsequent deadlines, and session logistics will be sent to those whose proposals are accepted.

Deadline: April 21, 2021
QUESTIONS? Email cadre@edc.org

*The 2021 DRK–12 PI Meeting Committee and advisors include Jody Bintz, BSCS Science Learning; Jose Blackorby, CAST; Paul Cobb, Vanderbilt University; Zandra de Araujo, University of Missouri; Ximena Dominguez, Digital Promise; Maisie Gholson, University of Michigan; Marcia Linn, University of California, Berkeley; Jamie Mikeska, Educational Testing Service (ETS); and Eric Wiebe, North Carolina State University.