Activity

Infusing Engineering into Secondary-level Classes

STEM Categorization: 
Day: 
Fri

Participants learn about approaches to infusing or integrating engineering concepts into secondary-level science classrooms and engage in an analysis of two projects’ products and outcomes.

Date/Time: 
9:15 am to 10:45 am
Session Materials: 

The session will feature the experiences, outcomes, and materials from two engineering-oriented DR K-12 projects. The two projects, INFUSE and INSPIRES, use different approaches to teacher professional development with the goal of preparing science teachers to infuse or integrate engineering into their classrooms. They have both developed a unique set of materials designed to impact science and technology outcomes (working on a combination of curriculum development, professional development, and research).

Session Types: 

Preparing Teachers to Support Rich Disciplinary Discussions in Their Classrooms

STEM Categorization: 
Day: 
Thu

Learn about pre- or in-service teacher education activities designed to support teacher facilitation of student disciplinary discussions through enactments that illustrate teacher education activities.

Date/Time: 
2:15 pm to 3:45 pm
Session Materials: 

Often the most we know about our colleagues’ on-the-ground support of teachers is what we read in the methods sections of research articles, or what has been reified many times over in their published teacher learning materials. We rarely get to see, much less experience, one another’s approaches to supporting teachers. This session will open up the black-box of our work with teachers for discussion and scrutiny.

Session Types: 

Issues in Integrating NGSS Standards and Literacy/Language Arts in Grades K–5 Science

STEM Categorization: 
Day: 
Thu

Join in a discussion and give feedback on the work of a project integrating science and literacy/language arts, and issues associated with designing and implementing integrated science in K–5 schools.

Date/Time: 
2:15 pm to 3:45 pm
Session Materials: 

The vision of meaningful learning in science from NGSS and the National Research Council’s A Framework for K-12 Science Education requires reform efforts that address 1) curricular issues (what is being taught); and 2) pedagogical practices (what teaching will look like with emphasis on both the practices of science and engineering and the integration of the Common Core State Standards – English Language Arts).

Session Types: 

Problematizing and Assessing Secondary Mathematics Teachers’ Ways of Thinking

STEM Categorization: 
Day: 
Thu

Engage with presenters as they discuss assessment and rubrics designed to measure secondary teachers’ mathematical habits of mind.

Date/Time: 
9:30 am to 11:00 am
Session Materials: 

Work in secondary mathematics education takes many approaches to content, pedagogy, professional development and assessment. This session aims to illuminate the richness of hte content of secondary mathematics and the field of secondary mathematics education by sharing two such approaches and reflecting on the differences and commonalities between the two.   

Session Types: 

Perspectives on Solution Diversity and Divergent Thinking in K–12 Engineering Design Learning Experiences

STEM Categorization: 
Day: 
Thu

Consider multiple approaches to valuing, supporting, and studying the diversity of students’ solutions to design problems through poster presentations and small-group discussion.

Date/Time: 
9:30 am to 11:00 am
Session Materials: 

“Solution diversity” has been proposed as one key characteristic that distinguishes engineering design from other disciplinary pursuits. Engineering designers recognize that for any design problem, there will be multiple acceptable solutions, and informed designers have been found to strive for “idea fluency” through divergent thinking techniques that assist them in exploring the design space (Crismond & Adams, 2012).

Session Types: 

Scientific Data in Schools: Measuring the Efficacy of an Innovative Approach to Integrating Quantitative Reasoning in Secondary Science (Collaborative Research: Stuhlsatz)

Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
1503005
Funding Period: 
Wed, 07/15/2015 to Fri, 05/31/2019
Project Evaluator: 
Kristin Bass
Full Description: 

The goal of this project is to investigate whether the integration of real data from cutting-edge scientific research in grade 6-10 classrooms will increase students’ quantitative reasoning ability in the context of science. Data Nuggets are activity-based resources that address current needs in STEM education and were developed by science graduate students and science teachers at Michigan State University through prior support from the NSF GK-12 program and the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action. The goal of Data Nuggets is to engage students in the practices of science through an innovative approach that combines scientific content from authentic research with key concepts in quantitative reasoning. Partners from Michigan State University and BSCS will adapt the materials to address current science and mathematics standards, create a professional development program for teachers, and test the efficacy of the materials through a cluster-randomized trial in the classrooms of 30 teachers in Michigan, Colorado, and California.

The project will study whether short, targeted interventions of classroom activities embedded within a typical curriculum can impact student outcomes. Prior to the study teachers will participate in professional development. Classrooms of the teachers in the study will be randomly assigned to either a treatment or comparison condition. Student outcome measures will include understanding of quantitative reasoning in the context of science, understanding of the practices and processes of science, student engagement and motivation, and interest in science.

In order to adequately train the next generation of citizens and scientists, research is needed on how quantitative reasoning skills build upon each other throughout K-16 science education Students need to experience activities that emphasize how science is conducted, and apply their understandings of how scientists reason quantitatively. Establishing the efficacy of Data Nuggets could provide the field with information about supplementing existing curriculum with short interventions targeted at particular scientific practices. By facilitating student access to authentic science, Data Nuggets bridge the gap between scientists and the public. Scientists who create Data Nuggets practice their communication skills and share both the process of science and research findings with K-12 students (and perhaps their families), undergraduates, and teachers, improving the understanding of science in society.

Scientific Data in Schools: Measuring the Efficacy of an Innovative Approach to Integrating Quantitative Reasoning in Secondary Science (Collaborative Research: Mead)

Data Nuggets (http://datanuggets.org) are classroom activities, co-designed by scientists and teachers, which give students practice interpreting quantitative information and making claims based on evidence.

Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
1503211
Funding Period: 
Wed, 07/15/2015 to Fri, 05/31/2019
Full Description: 

The Discovery Research K-12 program (DRK-12) seeks to significantly enhance the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by preK-12 students and teachers, through research and development of innovative resources, models and tools (RMTs). Projects in the DRK-12 program build on fundamental research in STEM education and prior research and development efforts that provide theoretical and empirical justification for proposed projects. 

The goal of this research is to investigate whether the integration of real data from cutting-edge scientific research in grade 6-10 classrooms will increase students’ quantitative reasoning ability in the context of science. The Data Nuggets are activity-based resources that address current needs in STEM education and were developed by science graduate students and science teachers at Michigan State University through prior support from the NSF GK-12 program. The goal of Data Nuggets is to engage students in the practices of science through an innovative approach that combines scientific content from authentic research with key concepts in quantitative reasoning. Over the course of the project, partners from Michigan State University and BSCS will adapt the materials to address current science and mathematics standards, develop a professional development program for teachers, and test the efficacy of the materials through a quasi-experiment in the classrooms of 30 teachers in Michigan, Colorado, and California.

The evidence from this study will demonstrate whether short, targeted interventions of classroom activities embedded within a typical curriculum can impact student outcomes. A multi-site cluster randomized trial design will be used. Prior to the study teachers will participate in targeted professional development. Then, classrooms of the teachers in the study will be randomly assigned to either a treatment or comparison condition. Student outcomes measures will include understanding of quantitative reasoning in the context of science, understanding of the practices and processes of science, particularly in the areas of analyzing and interpreting data and using mathematics and computational thinking, engagement in the practices of science in the classroom, and motivation to engage in science and improved general interest in science.

In order to adequately train the next generation of citizens and scientists, we must understand how quantitative reasoning skills build upon each other throughout K-16 science education to prepare students for rigorous college science courses. In particular, there is a need for students to experience activities that emphasize how science is conducted, and apply their understandings of how scientists reason quantitatively (Mayes et al. 2014a, 2014b). Establishing the efficacy of Data Nuggets could provide the field with new information about supplementing existing curriculum with short interventions targeted at particular scientific practices. In addition, Data Nuggets allow scientists to share their research broadly, improving access to authentic science. Scientists who create Data Nuggets practice their communication skills and disseminate both the process of science and research findings to K-12 students (and perhaps their families), undergraduates, and teachers, improving the understanding of science in society. 

Precision Math: Using Interactive Gaming Technology to Build Student Proficiency in the Foundational Concepts and Problem Solving Skills of Measurement and Data Analysis

The purpose of this 4-year project is to improve student mathematics achievement by developing a mathematics intervention focused on key measurement and data analysis skills. The PM intervention will be designed for first and second grade students who are experiencing mathematics difficulties. To increase student mathematics achievement, the intervention will include: (a) a technology-based component and (b) hands-on activities.

Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
1503161
Funding Period: 
Wed, 07/01/2015 to Sun, 06/30/2019
Full Description: 

The Discovery Research K-12 program (DRK-12) seeks to significantly enhance the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by preK-12 students and teachers, through research and development of innovative resources, models and tools. Projects in the DRK-12 program build on fundamental research in STEM education and prior research and development efforts that provide theoretical and empirical justification for proposed projects.

Strong knowledge of measurement and data analysis is essential to ensure competiveness of the nation as a whole and full access to educational and work opportunities for all students. Despite this importance, a considerable number of U.S. students, particularly students from poor and minority backgrounds, struggle with these two areas of mathematics. The purpose of this 4-year Research and Development project, Precision Mathematics (PM): Building Student Proficiency in the Foundational Concepts and Problem Solving Skills of Measurement and Data Analysis, is to improve student mathematics achievement by developing a mathematics intervention focused on key measurement and data analysis skills. The PM intervention will be designed for first and second grade students who are experiencing mathematics difficulties. To increase student mathematics achievement, the intervention will include: (a) a technology-based component that will provide students with individualized instruction and (b) hands-on activities that will offer opportunities for students to interact with their teacher and peers around critical measurement and data analysis concepts. Primary activities of the project will include intervention development, pilot testing, data analysis, and intervention revision. One primary benefit of PM is that it will provide struggling learners with meaningful access to critical concepts and skills identified in the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Another benefit is that will be designed to serve as a foundation for students to understand more advanced mathematical concepts introduced in the later grades. PM has the potential to address a concerning gap in U.S. education. To date, intervention research focused on measurement and data analysis is scant.

Proficiency with measurement and data analysis is essential for obtaining occupations in the STEM fields. A primary aim of this project is to develop PM, a mathematics intervention designed to teach key concepts of measurement and data analysis to at-risk 1st and 2nd grade students. Comprising the intervention will be technology-based and collaborative problem-solving activities. At each grade, the intervention will provide 20 hours of instruction focused on topics identified in the Common Core State Standards. A primary aim of the project is to develop the intervention using a design science approach, including a mix of qualitative and quantitative research methods that will guide iterative testing and revision cycles. A second primary aim is to test the promise of the intervention to improve student mathematics achievement. Rigorous pilot studies (i.e., randomized controlled trials) will be conducted in 1st and 2nd grade classrooms involving over 700 at-risk students. Within classrooms, students will be randomly assigned to treatment (PM) or control conditions (business as usual). Two research questions will be addressed: (a) What is the potential promise of the intervention when delivered in authentic education settings? (b) Based on empirical evidence, are revisions to the intervention's theory of change necessary? Tests of main effects of intervention effects will be conducted using analysis of covariance models, adjusting for pretest scores. Generated findings are anticipated to contribute to the knowledge base on early STEM learning for at-risk learners.

CAREER: Leveraging Contrasting Cases to Investigate Integer Understanding

Most students learn about negative numbers long after they have learned about positive numbers, and they have little time or opportunity to build on their prior understanding by contrasting the two concepts. The purpose of this CAREER project is to identify language factors and instructional sequences that contribute to improving elementary students' understanding of addition and subtraction problems involving negative integers. 

Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
1350281
Funding Period: 
Thu, 05/15/2014 to Tue, 04/30/2019
Full Description: 

Currently, most students learn about negative numbers long after they have learned about positive numbers, and they have little time or opportunity to build on their prior understanding by contrasting the two concepts. Therefore, they struggle to make sense of negative integer concepts, which appear to conflict with their current understanding. The purpose of this CAREER project is to identify language factors and instructional sequences that contribute to improving elementary students' understanding of addition and subtraction problems involving negative integers. A second objective is to identify how elementary teachers interpret their students' integer understanding and use research findings to support their teaching of these concepts. This project is expected to contribute to theories regarding the development of integer understanding as well as what makes a useful contrasting case when learning new, related concepts. Moreover, the results of this project can contribute to our understanding of how to build on students? prior number knowledge rather than contradict it.

The principal investigator will conduct a series of four experimental studies involving a preparation for learning component with students randomly assigned to treatment or control groups. Study 1 will involve second and fourth graders and will test the language factors that support students' understanding of integers. Studies 2-4 will involve second and fifth graders and will test the optimal order in which integer addition and subtraction problems are presented in contrast with each other versus sequentially without contrasts. Using items that measure students? understanding of integers and integer operations, the PI will compare students' gains from pre-tests to post-tests between groups. Further, the investigator will qualitatively code students? solution strategies based on follow-up interviews and written work for additional information on the differences between groups. Following the experimental studies, the PI will work with elementary teachers over three lesson study cycles, during which teachers will implement instruction based on the prior studies? results. The PI will compare the performance of students who participate in the lesson study unit versus control classrooms to measure impact of the unit.

Videos of the lesson study unit, as well as the negative integer lesson plans will be made available for other teachers and teacher educators to use. Further, the investigator will incorporate the research results into an undergraduate mathematics methods course. To ensure that the results of this research reach a wider audience, the investigator will create an integer game and storybook, illustrating key concepts identified through the research, that parents can explore together with their children during family math nights and at home. On a broader scale, this project has the potential to illuminate ways to develop more coherence in the sequencing of mathematics topics to more effectively build on students? current understanding.

The Climate Lab: An Innovative Partnership between Climate Research and Middle-School Practice Collaborative Research: Lloyd-Evans)

This project will develop and test an education partnership model focusing on climate change (The Climate Lab) that features inquiry-oriented and place-based learning. The project will develop a curriculum that will provide opportunities for middle school students and teachers to compare their locally collected data with historic data to create unique and powerful learning opportunities.

Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
1417332
Funding Period: 
Fri, 08/15/2014 to Mon, 07/31/2017
Full Description: 

This project will develop and test an education partnership model focusing on climate change (The Climate Lab) that features inquiry-oriented and place-based learning. Curriculum development will begin with a prototype program pioneered by the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, and a design-based implementation research (DBIR) approach will be used to develop a curriculum that is aligned with key elements of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The project partnership includes scientists at three research centers, education researchers, and middle school teachers. The completed curriculum will provide opportunities for middle school students and teachers to compare their locally collected data with historic data to create unique and powerful learning opportunities. The collaboration between scientists and schools introduces middle school students to local, community citizen science endeavors with multiple stakeholders.

The project is innovative in linking direct exploration of current, local conditions with archived data to examine long-term changes in natural phenomena that cannot be directly perceived. Components of the model being developed will include: a) a standards-aligned curriculum; b) field and lab activities that engage students in collecting and analyzing data on local biotic and abiotic indicators of climate change; c) integration with a current climate science research program; d) support materials for teachers and scientists (print and electronic) and a digital teacher professional development program; and e) a project Website. During development of these curricular components, barriers to implementation of this learning strategy will be identified and studied. The findings of this project have the potential to broadly impact middle school science education practices by introducing a curricular model that links direct data collection with analysis of archived data to study long-term environmental changes that are not directly perceived.

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