Curriculum

Radford Outdoor Augmented Reality (ROAR) Project: Immersive Participatory Augmented Reality Simulations for Teaching and Learning Science

This project anticipates the needs of learners in 10 years by developing and testing two learning simulations that are immersive, interactive, and participatory and use augmented reality in the outdoors. Students work in teams to investigate phenomena and solve problems in a gaming environment using wireless handheld GPS units. Using a design-based, mixed-methods approach, the researchers examine the relationships among augmented reality, learning in science, socio-emotional outcomes, and the demographic characteristics of rural, underserved students.

Project Email: 
Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0822302
Funding Period: 
Mon, 09/15/2008 to Tue, 08/31/2010
Full Description: 

This project anticipates the needs of learners in 10 years by developing and testing two learning simulations that are immersive, interactive, and participatory and use augmented reality in the outdoors. Students work in teams to investigate phenomena and solve problems in a gaming environment using wireless handheld GPS units. Using a design-based, mixed-methods approach, the researchers examine the relationships among augmented reality, learning in science, socio-emotional outcomes, and the demographic characteristics of rural, underserved students.

Nurturing Multiplicative Reasoning in Students with Learning Disabilities in a Computerized Conceptual-modeling Environment (NMRSD-CCME)

The purpose of this project is to create a research-based model of how students with learning disabilities (LDs) develop multiplicative reasoning via reform-oriented pedagogy; convert the model into a computer system that dynamically models every students’ evolving conceptions and recommends tasks to promote their advancement to higher level, standard-based multiplicative structures and operations; and study how this tool impacts student outcomes.

Project Email: 
Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0822296
Funding Period: 
Fri, 08/01/2008 to Wed, 07/31/2013
Project Evaluator: 
Dr. C. Brown
Full Description: 

Quality Cyber-enabled, Engineering Education Professional Development to Support Teacher Change and Student Achievement (E2PD)

In this project, a video and audio network links elementary school teachers with researchers and educators at Purdue to form a community of practice dedicated to implementing engineering education at the elementary grades. The research plan includes identifying the attributes of face-to-face and cyber-enabled teacher professional development and community building that can transform teachers into master users and designers of engineering education for elementary learners.

Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0822261
Funding Period: 
Mon, 09/15/2008 to Tue, 08/31/2010
Project Evaluator: 
Rose Marra, University of Missouri-Columbia

PUM (PhysicsUnionMathematics) Exploration

The PuM project develops and conducts research on a learning continuum for seamless instruction in middle school physical science and high school physics. The ultimate goal is to use physics as the context to develop mathematics literacy, particularly with students from underrepresented populations and special needs students. The research component analyzes the effects of the curriculum on students' learning while simultaneously investigating teachers' pedagogical content knowledge in a variety of forms.

Lead Organization(s): 
Partner Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0733140
Funding Period: 
Sat, 09/01/2007 to Tue, 08/31/2010

A Longitudinal Randomized Trial Study of Middle School Science for English Language Learners (Project MSSELL) (Collaborative Research: Irby)

Project MSSELL will conduct a two-year randomized trial longitudinal evaluation of an enhanced standards-based science curriculum model. In Year 1, the project will refine and pilot the model based on learnings from its previous developmental phase and implementation with K-3 grade students. In Years 2 and 3, the enhanced model will be implemented and studied with fifth- and sixth-grade students.

Partner Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0822153
Funding Period: 
Mon, 09/01/2008 to Fri, 08/31/2012
Project Evaluator: 
Dr. David Frances

Learning Progressions for Scientific Inquiry: A Model Implementation in the Context of Energy

The project has had three major areas of focus:  (1) Offering professional development to help elementary and 6th grade teachers become more responsive teachers, attending and responding to their students' ideas and reasoning; (2)  Developing web-based resources (both curriculum and case studies) to promote responsive teaching in science; and (3) research how both teachers and students progress in their ability to engage in science inquiry. 

Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0732233
Funding Period: 
Tue, 01/01/2008 to Mon, 12/31/2012
Project Evaluator: 
Lawrence Hall of Science

Exploring the Frontiers of Science with Online Telescopes

This project researches the use of cyberinfrastructure to implement a strategy for using online telescopes as a laboratory to engage middle and high school students in cutting edge science research while providing them with significant new opportunities to apply STEM concepts, practice inquiry, and design and learn about the nature of scientific discovery.  

Partner Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0733252
Funding Period: 
Sat, 09/15/2007 to Tue, 08/31/2010
Project Evaluator: 
Lynn Baum, JCM Associates LLC

Inquiry-based High School Biology Using Sea Urchin Fertilization and Development

This project uses sea urchin embryos to provide a curriculum module for inquiry-based biology. The curriculum is provided via a new open access website. It addresses several of the National Science Content Standards and provides a range of activities suitable for all levels of high school biology. It will provide instructional support materials such as video demonstrations, animations, time lapse videos and image galleries relevant to each exercise, as well as professional development materials.

Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0454770
Funding Period: 
Fri, 04/01/2005 to Tue, 03/31/2009

Accessing Science Ideas: Enhancing Curriculum to Support Scientific Reasoning of Students with Learning Disabilities

The Accessing Science Ideas (ASI) project is developing and researching content enhancements that support science learning of middle school students with executive function and related learning disabilities.  The goal of ASI research is to measure the extent to which curricular units with content enhancements lead to increased student understanding of science concepts, improved reasoning, and greater confidence.

Lead Organization(s): 
Partner Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0822039
Funding Period: 
Fri, 08/15/2008 to Tue, 07/31/2012
Full Description: 

The Accessing Science Ideas (ASI) project is developing and researching content enhancements that support science learning of middle school students with executive function and related learning disabilities. These content enhancements are being designed for and integrated into two Full Option Science System (FOSS) curriculum units, Diversity of Life and Populations and Ecosystems. The goal of ASI research is to measure the extent to which curricular units with content enhancements lead to increased student understanding of science concepts, improved reasoning, and greater confidence for all students in an inclusive science classroom.  However, we anticipate that the students with executive function challenges who find it particularly difficult to organize and remember information, shift between concrete phenomena and abstract concepts and see relationships among ideas will benefit most.

Content enhancements are instructional strategies and materials that do not change content but rather ‘enhance’ it by making it accessible to all learners. They make ideas more explicit, prompt elaboration, involve students in transforming the information, and make concepts, ideas, and their relationships more concrete.  In this project, we design, pilot, and revise our content enhancements for each unit prior to the field test. 

The study employs an experimental design with randomization at the teacher level.  Teachers in the intervention are provided with training and then use content enhancements while those in the control group teach the FOSS unit as they typically would.  The control group receives training and the content enhancements at the conclusion of the research phase.

Biocomplexity and the Habitable Planet -- An Innovative Capstone Course for High School (Collaborative Research: Puttick)

This project is developing a set of instructional materials that engages students and teachers in the science of coupled natural human (CNH) systems. Teacher guides, a website and multimedia resources accompany the four student modules (which focus on an urban watershed, an urban/agricultural system, Amazonia and a polar system).

Award Number: 
0628171
Funding Period: 
Sun, 10/01/2006 to Sun, 03/31/2013
Project Evaluator: 
EDC
Full Description: 

Biocomplexity — A frontier of modern science

The science disciplines that try to understand how biological and earth systems work arose in previous centuries when places that humans had not affected still remained. But in the past century, scientists have begun to realize that to really understand the world we inhabit — how it works, and how it’s changing — we have to accept Homo sapiens as an essential player, and not an intruder. This kind of thinking, which links biology, ecology, physics, chemistry, with human society and behavior, is leading to some very exciting, and sometimes surprising, science.

One term for this emerging science is biocomplexity. Biocomplexity is an umbrella science that integrates the core concepts of ecology, biogeography, ecosystem services, and landscape ecology to understand “coupled human-natural systems” and to identify more effective solutions to the challenges we face in the biosphere.

This course is designed to help students acquire a “biocomplex” way of thinking, by looking at several real situations, some familiar, and some unfamiliar, in which humans are involved as the world changes. Our mission is to foster the understanding of the complex fabric of relationships between humans and the environment, vital and important knowledge for all citizens in an era of global human impact on the environment. We can no longer study “natural” systems without considering human interactions. High school science materials should reflect this critically important fact, and also support students to engage in authentic investigations.

The curriculum uses a case study approach to engage students with biocomplexity in urban, agricultural, tropical and polar systems, in which students address environmental land and resource use challenges increasingly confronted by society. Students engage in inquiry-based investigations, gather data from primary sources, and construct evidence-based arguments. The curriculum is enlivened by multimedia resources, including video, animations, podcasts and slideshows.  The four units each take 7-9 weeks to complete.

Unit One: Urban Biocomplexity : Students develop an understanding of systems thinking at the local scale of their familiarschoolyard ecosystem. They make a land use decision regarding the addition of anathletic field to the school grounds and investigate how land use impacts hydrology,nitrogen flux, biotic factors, social factors, and ecosystem services.

Unit Two: Sprawl and Biocomplexity: Students explore the impact of habitat fragmentation as they consider the proposedconversion of farmland to a suburban housing development. They map landscapeelements and investigate biodiversity, social factors, fluxes of carbon, the economics androle of commodity subsidies, and the impact of “green” design. They debate land usealternatives that include sustainable practices, and build a coherent scientific case to support their land use choice.

Unit Three: Amazonia and Biocomplexity: Students explore connections between the agricultural and grazing practicescurrently responsible for large-scale deforestation in Amazonia and the connections ofdeforestation to local, regional, and global climate. They investigate the role of rainforestin regulating atmospheric gases and stabilizing rainfall. They analyze patterns ofAmazonian deforestation and habitat fragmentation, analyze the economic ecology ofsoybean production, cattle ranching and forestry land uses, and conduct a stakeholderanalysis. Finally, student teams prepare a plan for land in a region in Amazonia, jugglingtypes of land use to optimize other critical factors such as conservation, carbonsequestration, economic benefits and viable agriculture. 

Unit Four: Arctic Biocomplexity: Many arctic species are showing signs of rapid impacts from habitat disruption due to climate change. Students explore these impacts, investigate the flux of heat energy, and learn about population dynamics, conservation biology, adaptation and natural selection to be able to forecast what is likely to happen to selected Arctic species as the climate changes. They construct a case to support recommended conservation strategies.

 

 

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