Explore over 300 DR K-12 projects that are transforming STEM education through their innovative research and development. 

Project titlesort iconOrganizationPI first namePI last nameAward date

CAREER: Creating Effective, Sustainable Inquiry-Based Instruction in Middle School Science Classrooms

Jeff Marshall, Clemson University
The goal of this project is to improve the quality of middle school science in a select number of schools and to gain insight into effective science professional development practice more generally. The project will focus on the following objectives: (1) increasing the quantity and quality of inquiry-based instruction; (2) facilitating the development and implementation of inquiry-based instruction; and (3) improving student achievement in middle school science classrooms.

CAREER: Designing Learning Environments to Foster Productive and Powerful Discussions Among Linguistically Diverse Students in Secondary Mathematics

William Zahner, San Diego State University Research Foundation (SDSU Research Foundation)
This project will design and develop specialized instructional materials and guidelines for teaching secondary algebra in linguistically diverse classrooms. These materials will incorporate current research on student learning in mathematics and research on the role of language in students' mathematical thinking and learning. The work will connect research on mathematics learning generally with research on the mathematics learning of ELLs, and will contribute practical resources and guidance for mathematics teachers who teach ELLs.

CAREER: Engaging Elementary Students in Data Analysis Through Study of Physical Activities

Victor Lee, Utah State University (USU)
This project is investigating the learning that can take place when elementary school students are directly involved in the collection, sense-making, and analysis of real, personally-meaningful data sets. The hypotheses of this work are that by organizing elementary statistics instruction around the study of physical activities, students will have greater personal engagement in data analysis processes and that students will also develop more...

CAREER: Examining the Role of Context in the Mathematical Learning of Young Children

Amy Parks, Michigan State University (MSU), University of Georgia (UGA), University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc. (UGARF)
This project involves a longitudinal, ethnographic study of children's mathematical performances from preschool to first grade in both formal classroom settings and informal settings at school and home. The study seeks to identify opportunities for mathematical learning, to map varied performances of mathematical competence, to chart changes in mathematical performance over time, and to design and assess the impact of case studies for teacher education.

CAREER: Exploring Beginning Mathematics Teachers' Career Patterns

Min Sun, University of Washington (UW)
Research increasingly provides insights into the magnitude of mathematics teacher turnover, but has identified only a limited number of factors that influence teachers' career decisions and often fails to capture the complexity of the teacher labor market. This project will address these issues, building evidence-based theories of ways to improve the quality and equity of the distribution of the mathematics teaching workforce. 

CAREER: Exploring the Role of Variability as an Organizing Concept for the Teaching and Learning of Statistical Reasoning in Middle School

Luis Saldanha, Arizona State University (ASU)
This CAREER project explores interrelated research questions: (1) What understandings of variability can provide conceptual support for the scheme of ideas that underlie statistical inference--making claims about a population on the basis of samples? (2) What conceptions about variability do students bring to study of data analysis and statistical reasoning in middle grades? (3) How can instruction support students in coming to develop understanding and skill in reasoning about variability?

CAREER: Fraction Activities and Assessments for Conceptual Teaching (FAACT) for Students with Learning Disabilities

Jessica Hunt, University of Texas, Austin
The goal of this project is to study and support the development of conceptual understanding of fractions by students with learning disabilities (LD). The researcher proposes that rather than focusing on whether LD students can or cannot develop conceptual understanding of fractions, research should attempt to uncover the understanding LD students have and examine how growth of conceptual knowledge occurs in these students.

CAREER: Investigating Differentiated Instruction and Relationships Between Rational Number Knowledge and Algebraic Reasoning in Middle School

Amy Hackenberg, Indiana University (IU)
The proposed project initiates new research and an integrated education plan to address specific problems in middle school mathematics classrooms by investigating (1) how to effectively differentiate instruction for middle school students at different reasoning levels; and (2) how to foster middle school students' algebraic reasoning and rational number knowledge in mutually supportive ways.

CAREER: Investigating Fifth Grade Teachers' Knowledge of Noticing Appalachian Students' Thinking in Science

Melissa Luna, West Virginia University Research Corporation
This project will investigate teachers' knowledge of noticing students' science thinking. The project will examine teacher noticing in practice, use empirical evidence to model the teacher knowledge involved, and design teacher learning materials informed by the model. The outcomes of this project will be a model of teachers' knowledge of noticing Appalachian students' thinking in science and the design of web-based interactive instructional materials supporting teachers' knowledge construction around noticing Appalachian students' thinking in science.

CAREER: Investigating Middle and Secondary Mathematics Teachers' Transformative Learning of Statistics Within Professional Development

Susan Peters, University of Louisville Research Foundation, Inc. (ULRF)
The project will examine how teachers reason about variation subsequent to focused instruction and contribute knowledge to in-service middle and secondary mathematics teacher education by targeting characteristics of professional development that might support teachers' reasoning about variation in increasingly sophisticated ways. The project will produce a coherent collection of shareable instructional materials for use in introductory statistics education and teacher education in statistics.

CAREER: Investigating the Critical Junctures: Strategies that Broaden Minority Participation in STEM Fields

Terrell Strayhorn, Ohio State University (OSU)
This project conducts a systematic and empirical (both quantitative and qualitative) longitudinal study of the factors that influence students' decisions at critical junctures in the educational pipeline. The goals are too (a) broaden participation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields and (b) improve the recruitment, retention, and success of minority undergraduate men in STEM and STEM-related fields across colleges and universities in the United States.

CAREER: L-MAP: Pre-service Middle School Teachers' Knowledge of Mathematical Argumentation and Proving

Marta Magiera, Marquette University
This program of research will examine how middle school pre-service teachers' knowledge of mathematical argumentation and proving develops in teacher preparation programs. The project explores the research question: What conceptions of mathematical reasoning and proving do middle school preservice teachers hold in situations that foster reasoning about change, proportionality, and proportional relationships, as they enter their mathematics course sequence in their teacher preparation program, and how do these...

CAREER: Learning About Complex Causality in the Classroom

Tina Grotzer, Harvard University
This project focuses on how children learn to reason about three aspects of complex causality; probabilistic causation; action at a distance; and distributed causality;and how to best support the development of this reasoning in classrooms. Through microgenetic study across the school year with small numbers of students in grades K-6, the study will characterize children's reasoning at different ages and how it shifts over time and with different learning supports.

CAREER: Learning to Make Mathematical Connections

Lindsey Richland, University of Chicago (U of C)
The main goal of this mathematics education research project is to determine through experimentation specific teaching strategies that can be used to support middle school students in drawing connections between mathematical representations (fractions and ratios). The potential instructional strategies were identified from the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) video analyses study as the ones that best distinguished high performing countries from low performing countries.

CAREER: Learning to Support Productive Collective Argumentation in Secondary Mathematics Classes

AnnaMarie Conner, University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc. (UGARF)
Research has shown that engaging students, including students from underrepresented groups, in appropriately structured reasoning activities, including argumentation, may lead to enhanced learning. This project will provide information about how teachers learn to support collective argumentation and will allow for the development of professional development materials for prospective and practicing teachers that will enhance their support for productive collective argumentation.

CAREER: Leveraging Contrasting Cases to Investigate Integer Understanding

Laura Bofferding, Purdue University
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. 

CAREER: Making Science Visible: Using Visualization Technology to Support Linguistically Diverse Middle School Students' Learning in Physical and Life Sciences

Kihyun "Kelly" Ryoo, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC Chapel Hill)
This project will investigate the potential benefits of interactive, dynamic visualization technologies in supporting science learning for middle school students, including ELLs. This project will identify design principles for developing such technology, develop additional ways to support student learning, and provide guidelines for professional development that can assist teachers in better serving linguistically diverse students. The project has the potential to transform traditional science instruction for all students, and to broaden their participation in science.

CAREER: Mathematics Instruction for English Language Learners (MI-ELL)

M. Alejandra Sorto, Texas State University
This study is investigating the classroom factors and teacher characteristics that contribute to Latino English Language Learners' (ELL) gains in mathematics learning in the eighth grade. In addition to looking for key characteristics that influence mathematics learning, the researchers are measuring teachers' knowledge of mathematics for teaching, quality of instruction, and knowledge about English learners.

CAREER: Multilevel Mediation Models to Study the Impact of Teacher Development on Student Achievement in Mathematics

Benjamin Kelcey, University of Cincinnati (UC)
This project will develop a comprehensive framework to inform and guide the analytic design of teacher professional development studies in mathematics. An essential goal of the research is to advance a science of teaching and learning in ways that traverse both research and education.

CAREER: Noticing and Capitalizing on Important Mathematical Moments in Instruction

Shari Stockero, Michigan Technological University
This project investigates the outcomes of a teacher education model designed to foster prospective mathematics teachers' abilities to notice and capitalize on important mathematical moments in instruction. The project engages prospective teachers in research-like analysis of unedited teacher-perspective classroom video early in their teacher education coursework in order to help them learn to identify, assess the mathematical potential of, and respond to important student...

CAREER: Noticing and Using Students' Prior Knowledge in Problem-Based Instruction

Gloriana Gonzalez Rivera, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
This project will develop and study a professional development framework that is designed to help high school geometry teachers attend more carefully to student prior knowledge, interpret the learning implications of student prior knowledge, and adjust teaching practices accordingly. Participating teachers will participate in study groups that analyze animations of productive teaching practices; they will collaborate in planning, implementing, and analyzing geometry lessons; and they will critique videos of their own classroom instruction.

CAREER: Proof in Secondary Classrooms: Decomposing a Central Mathematical Practice

Michelle Cirillo, University of Delaware (UD)
This project will develop an intervention to support the teaching and learning of proof in the context of geometry. This study takes as its premise that if we introduce proof, by first teaching students particular sub-goals of proof, such as how to draw a conclusion from a given statement and a definition, then students will be more successful with constructing proofs on their own.

CAREER: Reciprocal Noticing: Latino/a Students and Teachers Constructing Common Resources in Mathematics

Higinio Dominguez, Michigan State University (MSU)
The goal of this project is to extend the theoretical and methodological construct of noticing to develop the concept of reciprocal noticing, a process by which teacher and student noticing are shared. The researcher argues that through reciprocal noticing the classroom can become the space for more equitable mathematics learning, particularly for language learners.

CAREER: Scaffolding Engineering Design to Develop Integrated STEM Understanding with WISEngineering

Jennifer Chiu, University of Virginia (UVA)
The development of six curricular projects that integrate mathematics based on the Common Core Mathematics Standards with science concepts from the Next Generation Science Standards combined with an engineering design pedagogy is the focus of this CAREER project.

CAREER: Supporting Computational Algorithmic Thinking (SCAT)—Exploring the Development of Computational Algorithmic Thinking Capabilities in African-American Middle School Girls

Jakita Thomas, Spelman College
The project at Spelman College includes activities that develop computational thinking and encourage middle school, African-American girls to consider careers in computer science. Over a three-year period, the girls attend summer camp sessions of two weeks where they learn to design interactive games. Experts in Computational Algorithmic Thinking as well as undergraduate, computer science majors at Spelman College guide the middle-school students in their design of games and exploration of related STEM careers.

CAREER: Supporting Middle School Students' Construction of Evidence-Based Arguments

Brian Belland, Utah State University (USU)
Doing science requires that students learn to create evidence-based arguments (EBAs), defined as claims connected to supporting evidence via premises. In this CAREER project, I investigate how argumentation ability can be enhanced among middle school students. The project entails theoretical work, instructional design, and empirical work, and involves 3 middle schools in northern Utah and southern Idaho.

CAREER: Supporting Students' Proof Practices Through Quantitative Reasoning in Algebra

Amy Ellis, University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison)
The aim of this project is to explore the hypothesis that a curricular focus on quantitative reasoning in middle grades mathematics can enhance development of student skill and understanding about mathematical proof. The project is addressing that hypothesis through a series of studies that include small group teaching experiments with students, professional development work with teachers, and classroom field tests of curricular units that connect quantitative reasoning and proof in algebra.

CAREER: Teacher Learning Communities: Centering the Teaching of Mathematics on Urban Youth

Laurie Rubel, Brooklyn College, CUNY
This project integrates educational and research activities with the ultimate goal of improving the mathematics education of students in high poverty, urban high schools. The project focuses on developing secondary mathematics teachers‘ capacity for implementing culturally relevant mathematics pedagogy (CuReMaP). CuReMaP consists of teaching mathematics for understanding; centering mathematics instruction on students; and providing opportunities for students to develop critical consciousness about and with mathematics.

CAREER: Teaching and Learning Social Science Inquiry and Spatial Reasoning with GIS

Joshua Radinsky, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
This research project aims to explore and understand how geographic information systems (GIS) can be used to promote and teach spatial thinking and social science inquiry skills. It addresses the research question: What are effective teaching practices using GIS to teach spatial thinking and social science inquiry in middle-school and undergraduate classrooms? This program will study the effectiveness of teaching practices for social science instruction with GIS in...

CAREER: Teaching Practices That Support Fraction-Based Algorithmic Thinking

Debra Johanning, University of Toledo (UT)
The research and educational activities of this project focus on advancing the field in the area of fraction operation algorithm development. The goal of this research is to identify core mathematical teaching practices that engage and support students in algorithmic thinking associated with fraction operations. The educational product of this work will be written educational materials that can be used to support the general population of teachers in this domain.

CAREER: Work Contexts, Teacher Learning Opportunities, and Mathematics Achievement of Middle School Students

Motoko Akiba, Florida State University (FSU)
This CAREER proposal has four objectives: 1) examine the nature of mathematics teachers' learning opportunities for instructional improvement, 2) examine how work contexts influence the quality of teacher learning opportunities, 3) examine the impact of teacher learning opportunities on changes in student mathematics achievement over four years, and 4) work with district and school administrators to promote instructional improvement and student achievement by...

Cases of Reasoning and Proving in Secondary Mathematics (CORP)

Margaret Smith, University of Pittsburgh (Pitt)
Researchers are developing a practice-based curriculum for the professional education of preservice and practicing secondary mathematics teachers that focuses on reasoning and proving; has narrative cases as a central component; and supports the development of knowledge of mathematics needed for teaching. This curriculum is comprised of eight constellations of activities that focus on key aspects of reasoning and proving such as identifying patterns; making conjectures; providing proofs; and providing non-proof arguments.

CBMS Forum on the Content and Assessment of School Mathematics

Ronald Rosier, Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences (CBMS)
The Conference Board for the Mathematical Sciences (CBMS) is organizing and hosting a National Forum on the Content and Assessment of School Mathematics. The conference is intended to provide an opportunity for policy makers and the broad mathematics education community to provide input into the standards development process. CBMS will produce a white paper on the key issues.

CBMS National Forum on Content-based Professional Development for Teachers of Mathematics

Ronald Rosier, Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences (CBMS)
This project is organizing and hosting a National Forum on Content-Based Professional Development for Teachers of Mathematics. Expanding on work begun at two previous CBMS Forums, this third forum will provide the participants with a better understanding of the features of high quality content-based professional development and increase the number of college and university mathematics departments who partner with state departments and local school districts to provide professional development to working teachers.

CEIN: Predictive Toxicology Assessment and Safe Implementation of Nanotechnology in the Environment

Andre Nel, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
This project establishes a Center to conduct research and education on the interactions of nanomaterials with living systems and with the abiotic environment. The research combines high throughput screening assays with computational and physiological modeling to predict impacts at higher levels of biological organization. It will unite the fields of engineering, chemistry, physics, materials science, cell biology, ecology, toxicology, computer modeling, and risk assessment to establish the foundations of a new scientific discipline: environmental nanotoxicology.

CENSNet: An Architecture for Authentic Web-based Science Inquiry in Middle and High School

William Sandoval, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
This project provides middle school students and teachers access to live scientific data from the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing, and curriculum modules built around sensor networks that target core life science content and inquiry standards. This Web-based architecture allows students from ethnically diverse urban schools, typically underserved by technological innovation, to explore the same data that scientists use, and develops and evaluates fading technological and pedagogical scaffolds for inquiry as students gain competence.

Center for Emergent Materials

Nitin Padture, Ohio State University (OSU)
This project performs integrated research on emergent materials and phenomena in magnetoelectronics. The aim of the research activities is to advance understanding of the emergent materials and phenomena and to develop highly sophisticated experimental and theoretical tools required to study them. Project activities include an innovative education research program aimed at cognition of materials science concepts, K-12 outreach and visitation programs, undergraduate research programs, and graduate-education enhancement programs.

Center for High Energy Physics Research and Education Outreach (CHEPREO): An Inter-regional Grid Enabled Center for High Energy Physics at FIU

Pete Markowitz, Florida International University (FIU)
In its first five years, this project established a durable and vibrant learning community of high school teachers, high school students, university students, scientists, faculty, and associated stake-holders that continues to attract science and math students, using the project’s cutting-edge science and advanced cyberinfrastructure as compelling elements of study. This project continues by providing an education and research partnership derived from basic research in particle physics, grid computing, and advanced networking.

Center for the Mathematics Education of Latinos (CEMELA)

Marta Civil, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC Chapel Hill)
The goal of the Center for the Mathematics Education of Latinos/as is to advance the field of mathematics education by: (A) Developing an integrated model that connects mathematics teaching and learning to the cultural, social, and linguistic contexts of Latino/as students and (B) Increasing the number of mathematics educators and teachers with this integrated knowledge to ultimately improve the mathematics education of Latinos/as, particularly those of low-income backgrounds. ...

Center for the Study of Mathematics Curriculum

Barbara Reys, University of Missouri
This project will advance the research base and leadership capacity supporting K-12 mathematics curriculum design, analysis, implementation and evaluation. It will serve the K-12 educational community by focusing scholarly inquiry and professional development around the issues of mathematics curriculum, examining and characterizing their role and influence on both teaching and student learning. The Center will test strategies and produce new knowledge about the impact of curriculum materials on student and teacher learning.

Centers for Learning and Teaching: Research to Identify Changes in Mathematics Education Doctoral Preparation and the Production of New Doctorates

Robert Reys, University of Missouri
This project will research the programmatic changes that resulted from the NSF investment in Centers for Learning and Teaching of Mathematics (CLT) at the 31 participating institutions. It will provide information on the core elements of doctoral preparation in mathematics education at the institutions and ways in which participation in the CLTs has changed their programs.

Change Associated with Readiness, Education and Efficacy in Reform Science (CAREERS)

Betty Young, University of Rhode Island (URI)
This study brings together researchers from education, psychology and the sciences and scholar-practitioners to examine the factors that can be addressed in the preparation of both pre-service and in-service teachers to guide elementary children in exploratory and inquiry-based science lessons. The goal is to develop models that describe the interconnections among key constructs in order to reexamine the content of elementary science methods courses, mentoring for early career teachers, professional development opportunities and coaching.

Change Thinking for Global Science: Fostering and Evaluating Inquiry Thinking About the Ecological Impacts of Climate Change

Nancy Butler Songer, University of Michigan (UM)
This project draws from the expertise of a fully collaborative educator-scientist team to create learning progressions, curricular units and assessment instruments towards large scale research on the teaching and learning of climate change and impacts by 7-12th graders in primarily under-resourced schools. Products include eight week curricular units, IPCC-compliant simplified future scenarios, an online interface with guided predictive distribution modeling, and research results.

Changing Culture in Robotics Classroom (Collaborative Research: Schunn)

Christian Schunn, University of Pittsburgh (Pitt)
Computational and algorithmic thinking are new basic skills for the 21st century. Unfortunately few K-12 schools in the United States offer significant courses that address learning these skills. However many schools do offer robotics courses. These courses can incorporate computational thinking instruction but frequently do not. This research project aims to address this problem by developing a comprehensive set of resources designed to address teacher preparation, course content, ...

Changing Culture in Robotics Classroom (Collaborative Research: Shoop)

Robin Shoop, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)
Computational and algorithmic thinking are new basic skills for the 21st century. Unfortunately few K-12 schools in the United States offer significant courses that address learning these skills. However many schools do offer robotics courses. These courses can incorporate computational thinking instruction but frequently do not. This research project aims to address this problem by developing a comprehensive set of resources designed to address teacher preparation, course content, ...

Changing Curriculum, Changing Practice

Albert Cuoco, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UW-Milwaukee), Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), Michigan State University (MSU)
This project is studying the impact of implementing a NSF-funded, high school mathematics curriculum that emphasizes mathematical habits of mind. This curriculum focuses on ways of thinking and doing mathematics in contrast with curricula that focus on mathematical topics. The project is studying the development of teachers' mathematical knowledge for teaching and their capacity to align their instruction with the new curriculum.

Chemistry Facets: Formative Assessment to Improve Student Understanding in Chemistry

Angela DeBarger, SRI International, FACET Innovations, LLC., Sonoma State University (SSU)
This project implemented a facets-of-thinking perspective to design tools and practices to improve high school chemistry teachers' formative assessment practices. Goals are to identify and develop clusters of facets related to key chemistry concepts; develop assessment items; enhance the assessment system for administering items, reporting results, and providing teacher resource materials; develop teacher professional development and resource materials; and examine whether student learning in chemistry improves in classes that incorporate a facet-based assessment system.

Children's Understanding of Functions in Grades K-2

Maria Blanton, TERC, Inc.
This project is studying how young children in grades K-2 understand mathematical concepts that are foundational for developing algebraic thinking. Researchers are contributing to an ongoing effort to develop a learning trajectory that describes how algebraic concepts are developed. The project uses teaching experiments, with researchers talking directly to students as they explore algebraic ideas. They explore how students think about and develop concepts related to covariation, representations of functions, relationships among variable, and generalization.

Climate Change Narrative Game Education (CHANGE)

Glenn Smith, University of South Florida (USF)
This exploratory project helps high school students learn complex Global Climate Change (GCC) science by making it personally relevant and understandable. CHANGE creates a prototype curriculum, and integrates it into elective Marine Sciences high school courses. Research will examine the project's impact on student learning of climate science, student attitude toward science, and teacher instruction of climate science.

Closing the Math Achievement Gap for English Language Learners: Technology Resources for Pre-algebra

Carole Beal, University of Arizona (U of A)
The project addresses the relatively poor mathematics achievement of students who are not proficient in English. It includes research on how English language learners in beginning algebra classes solve math word problems with different text characteristics. The results of this research inform the development of technology-based resources to support ELLs’ ability to learn mathematics through instruction in English, including tutorials in math vocabulary, integrated glossaries, and interactive assistance with forming equations from word problem text.

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