Projects

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

Cyber-Enabled Learning: Digital Natives in Integrated Scientific Inquiry Classrooms (Collaborative Research: Campbell)

Todd Campbell, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth (UMass Dartmouth), University of Connecticut (UConn), Utah State University (USU)
10/01/2012
This project explores the potential of information and communications technologies (ICT) as cognitive tools for engaging students in scientific inquiry and for enhancing teacher learning. A comprehensive professional development program of over 240 hours, along with follow-up is used to determine how teachers can be supported to use ICT tools effectively in classroom instruction to create meaningful learning experiences for students, reduce the gap between formal and informal learning, and improve student learning outcomes.

Cyber-Enabled Learning: Digital Natives in Integrated Scientific Inquiry Classrooms (Collaborative Research: Wang)

Shiang-Kwei Wang, New York Institute of Technology (NYIT)
09/01/2010
This project investigated the professional development needed to make teachers comfortable teaching with multi-user simulations and communications that students use every day. The enactment with OpenSim (an open source, modular, expandable platform used to create simulated 3D spaces with customizable terrain, weather and physics) also provides an opportunity to demonstrate the level of planning and preparation that go into fashioning modules with all selected cyber-enabled cognitive tools framed by constructivism, such as GoogleEarth and Biologica.

CyberSTEM: Making Discovery Visible Through Digital Games

Richard Halverson, University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison)
09/01/2011
CyberSTEM is developing and testing an integrated digital gaming network that spans homes, schools, and informal learning settings, offering a suite of digital games based on cutting-edge discoveries in the life sciences. The project asks if participation in CyberSTEM leads to increased learning in six areas: interest in science, conceptual knowledge, scientific reasoning, reflection on knowing, participating in science, and identifying as a scientist. The target audience includes youth in grades 6-9.

Data Explorations in Ecology Project (DEEP)

Alan Berkowitz, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
09/01/2010
This project evaluates the benefits of using different types of place-based ecological data in high school science classrooms. This project will assess the use of first-hand (collected by students) and real-time second-hand data in teaching science and critical thinking skills. The guiding question for the project is "Does using place-based, first-hand ecological evidence, and relating that to place-based, second-hand data, improve students' environmental science literacy, nature of science understanding, and knowledge of ecological concepts?"

Data Games: Tools and Materials for Learning Data Modeling (Collaborative Research: Finzer)

William Finzer, KCP Technologies, Inc.
09/01/2009
The Data Games project has developed software and curriculum materials in which data generated by students playing computer games form the raw material for mathematics classroom activities. Students play a short video game, analyze the game data, develop improved strategies, and test their strategies in another round of the game.

Data Games—Tools and Materials for Learning Data Modeling (Collaborative Research: Konold)

Clifford Konold, University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst)
09/01/2009
This project is developing software and curriculum materials in which data generated by students playing computer games form the raw material for mathematics classroom activities. Students play a short video game, analyze the game data, conjecture improved strategies, and test their strategies in another round of the game.

Design and Execution of a Design Laboratory (Learning Lab) for STEM Projects

Paul LeMahieu, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
02/15/2015
Networked Improvement Communities (NICs) are a structure for redefining the relationship between education research and development and practice so as to more effectively address real problems in order to produce knowledge that can meaningfully contribute to improvement. This project provides an opportunity to learn how best to implement NIC principles so as to realize their potential to support STEM initiatives.

Design and Use of Illustrations in Test Items as a Form of Accommodation for English Language Learners in Science and Mathematics Assessment

Guillermo Solano-Flores, University of Colorado Boulder
09/01/2008
This project investigates how vignette illustrations minimize the impact of limited English proficiency on student performance in science tests. Different analyses will determine whether and how ELL and non-ELL students differ significantly on the ways they use vignettes to make sense of items; whether the use of vignettes reduces test-score differences due to language factors between ELL and non-ELL students; and whether the level of distance of the items moderates the effectiveness of vignette-illustrated items.

Design Technology and Engineering Education for English Learner Students: Project DTEEL

Rebecca Callahan, University of Texas, Austin
06/01/2015
One significant challenge facing elementary STEM education is the varied preparation of English-language learners. The project addresses this with an innovative use of engineering curriculum to build on the English-language learners' prior experiences. The project will support teachers' learning about strategies for teaching English-language learners and using engineering design tasks as learning opportunities for mathematics, science and communication skills. 

Designing an Integrated Framework for Genetics Education to Develop Innovative Curricula and Assessments

David Stroupe, Michigan State University (MSU)
08/15/2011
This project is developing a model for integrating best practices in technology-supported instructional design and formative assessment for genetics instruction in upper elementary, middle and high school. Using the Web-based Inquiry Science Environment platform, the project is developing school curriculum that scaffold and model scientific practices, enable students to interface with real-world problems, provide opportunities for students to make connections between visible phenomena and underlying genetic processes, and promote student monitoring and reflection on learning.

Designing Assessments in Physical Science Across Three Dimensions (Collaborative Research: Harris)

Christopher Harris, SRI International
09/01/2013
This is a collaborative project to develop, test, and analyze sets of technology-supported diagnostic classroom assessments for middle school (grades 6-8) physical science. Assessments are aligned with the performance assessment and evidence-centered design methodologies suggested in the Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012).

Designing Assessments in Physical Science Across Three Dimensions (Collaborative Research: Krajcik)

Joseph Krajcik, Michigan State University (MSU)
09/01/2013
This is a collaborative project to develop, test, and analyze sets of technology-supported diagnostic classroom assessments for middle school (grades 6-8) physical science. Assessments are aligned with the performance assessment and evidence-centered design methodologies suggested in the Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012).

Designing Assessments in Physical Science Across Three Dimensions (Collaborative Research: Pellegrino)

James Pellegrino, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
09/01/2013
This is a collaborative project to develop, test, and analyze sets of technology-supported diagnostic classroom assessments for middle school (grades 6-8) physical science. Assessments are aligned with the performance assessment and evidence-centered design methodologies suggested in the Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012).

Designing Learning Organizations for Instructional Improvement in Mathematics

Paul Cobb, Vanderbilt University
06/01/2006
MIST is a five-year study of four large, urban districts implementing ambitious mathematics reform initiatives in the middle grades.  The study uses a mixed-methods research design to investigate how changes in the school and district settings in which mathematics teachers work influence their instructional practices, students' learning opportunities, and student achievement.  

Designing Professional Development Resources that Lead to Effective Science and Expository Writing Instruction

Elaine Woo, Seattle Public Schools
04/01/2006
This project is developing professional resources to help elementary teachers strengthen their students' writing skills, particularly writing in science notebooks. The proposed resources would include print and multi-media formats for teachers and handbooks for their professional development providers.

Developing A Discourse Observation Tool and Online Professional Development to Promote Science, Oral Language and Literacy Development from the Start of School

Amelia Gotwals, Michigan State University (MSU)
09/15/2016
The goal of this project is to develop a classroom observation tool and an online professional development model to help early-elementary teachers improve science instruction among young learners by cultivating scientific discourse.

Developing a Model of STEM-Focused Elementary Schools (eSTEM)

Ann House, SRI International
08/15/2016
This project will study five elementary STEM schools from across the U.S. that are inclusive of students from underrepresented groups in order to determine what defines these schools and will use an iterative case study replication design to study the design and implementation of five exemplary eSTEM schools with the goal of developing a logic model that highlights the commonalities in core components and target outcomes across the schools, despite the different school contexts.

Developing a Professional Learning Community Model for Secondary Precalculus Teachers: A Model for Teacher Professional Growth

Patrick Thompson, Arizona State University (ASU)
05/01/2004
This project is producing a model for a Professional Learning Community (PLC) for pre-calculus teachers in secondary schools. It generates research knowledge from cycles of (1) defining, (2) studying and (3) refining the model and its components. The project leadership team are then be able to describe the support structure, group processes and tools needed to assist secondary pre-calculus teachers in providing high quality instruction for their students.

Developing Algebra-ready Students for Middle School: Exploring the Impact of Early Algebra

Maria Blanton, TERC, Inc.
09/01/2011
This project is developing and testing a curricular learning progression of early algebra objectives and activities for students in grades 3 - 5. The goal of the work is to provide teachers with curricular guidance and instructional resources that are useful in preparing students for success in study of algebra at the middle grade level. The project is also developing and validating assessment tools for evaluating student progress toward essential pre-algebra mathematical understandings.

Developing an Empirically-tested Learning Progression for the Transformation of Matter to Inform Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Design

Namsoo Shin, University of Michigan (UM)
09/15/2008
A principled framework is created for the development of learning progressions in science that can demonstrate how their use can transform the way researchers, educators and curriculum developers conceptualize important scientific constructs. Using the construct of transformation of matter, which requires understanding of both discrete learning goals and also the connections between them, a hypothetical learning progression is constructed for grades 5-12.

Developing an Integrated Assessment and Support System for Elementary Teacher Education

Pamela Moss, University of Michigan (UM)
07/15/2006
The project team is developing, implementing and evaluating a prototype for an integrated assessment system in elementary teacher education in mathematics. The project is documenting both the development of the student teachers in the practice of teaching mathematics to students from diverse backgrounds and of cooperating teachers and field instructors as they learn to analyze the practice of the student teachers and provide feedback.

Developing and Testing a Model to Support Student Understanding of the Sub-microscopic Interactions That Govern Biological and Chemical Processes

Joseph Krajcik, Michigan State University (MSU), University of Michigan (UM)
09/01/2011
This project designs, develops, and tests coherent interdisciplinary instructional materials to support high school students' integrated understanding of the forces and energetics involved in interactions that occur between atoms and molecules, and explores how students' learning progresses across time. The project will be implemented in three Michigan school districts with students who traditionally do not succeed in science. 

Developing and Testing the Internship-inator, a Virtual Internship in STEM Authorware System

David Shaffer, University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison)
09/01/2014
The Internship-inator is an authorware system for developing and testing virtual internships in multiple STEM disciplines. In a virtual internship, students are presented with a complex, real-world STEM problem for which there is no optimal solution. Students work in project teams to read and analyze research reports, design and perform experiments using virtual tools, respond to the requirements of stakeholders and clients, write reports and present and justify their proposed solutions. 

Developing Contingent Pedagogies: Integrating Technology-enhanced Feedback into a Middle School Science Curriculum to Improve Conceptual Teaching and Learning

Angela DeBarger, SRI International
09/01/2008
SRI International developed a formative assessment intervention that integrates classroom network technologies and contingent curriculum activities to help middle school teachers adjust instruction to improve student learning of Earth science concepts. The intervention was tested as part of a quasi-experimental study within an urban school district in Colorado that includes ethnically and economically diverse student populations. Findings indicate significant student learning gains for students in implementation classes as compared to students in comparison classes.

Developing Critical Evaluation as a Scientific Habit of Mind: Instructional Scaffolds for Secondary Earth and Space Sciences

Doug Lombardi, Temple University
09/01/2013
This exploratory project develops and tests graphical scaffolds which facilitate high school students' coordination of connecting evidence with alternative explanations of particular phenomena, as well as their collaborative argumentation about these phenomena. At the same time, the project examines how high school students use these tools to construct scientifically accurate conceptions about major topics in Earth and space sciences and deepens their abilities...

Developing Formative Assessment Tools and Routines for Additive Reasoning

Caroline Ebby, University of Pennsylvania (Penn)
09/01/2016
This design and development project is an expansion of the Ongoing Assessment Project (OGAP), an established model for research-based formative assessment in grades 3-8, to the early elementary grades. The project will translate findings from research on student learning of early number, addition, and subtraction into tools and routines that teachers can use to formatively assess their students' understanding on a regular basis and develop targeted instructional responses.

Developing Integrated Elementary Science, Engineering, and Language Arts Curricula Aligned with Next Generation Science Standards

Hasan Deniz, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV)
09/01/2015
This project will conduct a study to develop and field-test curricula integrating science, engineering, and language arts at the elementary level which is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Developing Preservice Elementary Teachers' Ability to Facilitate Goal-Oriented Discussions in Science and Mathematics via the Use of Simulated Classroom Interactions

Jamie Mikeska, Educational Testing Service (ETS)
08/01/2016
The project will develop, pilot, and validate eight discussion-oriented performance tasks that will be embedded in an online simulated classroom environment. The resulting research and development products could be used nationwide in teacher preparation and professional development settings to assess and develop teachers' ability to support classroom discussion in science and mathematics.

Developing Principles for Mathematics Curriculum Design and Use in the Common Core Era

Jeffrey Choppin, Western Michigan University (WMU), University of Rochester (U of R), Washington State University Tri-Cities, Michigan State University (MSU)
08/15/2012
This project is developing principles for supporting middle school mathematics teachers' capacity to use curriculum resources to design instruction that addresses the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. These principles are intended for: (1) curriculum developers; (2) professional development designers, to help teachers better utilize curriculum materials with respect to the CCSSM; and (3) teachers, so that they can use curriculum resources to design instruction that addresses the CCSSM.

Developing Rich Media-Based Materials for Practice-Based Teacher Education

Daniel Chazan, University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP)
08/15/2013
This research and development project is premised on the notion that recent technological developments have made it feasible to represent classroom work in new ways. In addition to watching recorded videos of classroom interactions or reading written cases, teacher educators and teachers can now watch animations and image sequences, realized with cartoon characters, and made to depict activities that happened, or could have happened, in a mathematics classroom.

Developing Science Problem-solving Skills and Engagement Through Intelligent Game-based Learning Environments

James Lester, North Carolina State University (NC State)
08/01/2008
The project draws upon intelligent tutoring and narrative-centered learning technologies to produce a suite of intelligent game-based learning environments for upper elementary school science students. The games explicitly model student knowledge and problem solving and dynamically customize feedback, advice, and explanation as appropriate. Unlike its predecessor, the platform is multi-user so it can support collaboration; offer dynamically generated feedback, advice, and explanation; and provide a pedagogical dashboard that generates student progress reports.

Developing Teachers as Computational Thinkers Through Supported Authentic Experiences in Computing Modeling and Simulation

Eric Klopfer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
01/01/2016
This project addresses the need for a computationally-enabled STEM workforce by equipping teachers with the skills necessary to prepare students for future endeavors as computationally-enabled scientists and citizens, and by investigating the most effective ways to provide this instruction to teachers. The project also addresses the immediate challenge presented by NGSS to prepare middle school science teachers to implement rich computational thinking experiences within science classes.

Developing Teachers' Capacity to Promote Argumentation in Secondary Science

William Sandoval, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
07/01/2015
This project will produce insights into the challenges teachers face in modifying their teaching in the substantial and complex ways demanded by the Next Generation Science Standards. This project will develop and study a program of professional development to help middle and high school science teachers support their students to learn to argue scientifically. 

Developing Teaching Expertise in K-5 Mathematics

Kara Suzuka, University of Michigan (UM), University of Denver (DU)
09/01/2011
This project designs materials and an accompanying support system to enable the development of expertise in the teaching of mathematics at the elementary level. The project has four main components: online professional development modules; practice-based assessments; resources for facilitators; and web-based technologies to deliver module content to diverse settings. Three modules are being developed and focus on fractions, reasoning and explanation, and geometry. Each module is organized into ten 1.5 hour sessions.

Developing the Next Generation of Middle School Science Materials -- Investigating and Questioning Our World through Science and Technology (Collaborative Research: Krajcik)

Joseph Krajcik, University of Michigan (UM)
09/01/2004
This project is developing a comprehensive science curriculum for grades 6-8. The materials are organized around driving questions that provide a context to motivate students as they use their knowledge and skills in scientific practices, and contain hands-on experiences, technology tools and reading materials that extend students' first-hand experiences of phenomena and support science literacy.

Developing the Next Generation of Middle School Science Materials--Investigating and Questioning Our World through Science and Technology (Collaborative Research: Reiser)

Brian Reiser, Northwestern University (NU)
09/01/2004
This project will design a comprehensive science curriculum for grades 6-8, in which learning performances drive the design of activities and assessments in order to specify how students should be able to use the scientific ideas and skills outlined in standards. The materials contain hands-on experiences, technology tools and reading materials that extend students' first-hand experiences of phenomena and support science literacy.

Developing, Researching, and Scaling Up SmartGraphs

Carolyn Staudt, Concord Consortium
08/15/2009
SmartGraphs activities run in a web browser; there is no software to download or install. SmartGraphs allows students to interact with on-screen graphs to learn about linear equations, the motion of objects, population dynamics, global warming, or other STEM topics that use scatter plots or line graphs. Teachers and students may also use and share existing activities, which are released under a Creative Commons license (see http://www.concord.org/projects/smartgraphs#curriculum).

Development and Empirical Recovery for a Learning Progression-Based Assessment of the Function Concept

Edith Graf, Educational Testing Service (ETS)
09/15/2016
The project will design an assessment based on learning progressions for the concept of function - a critical concept for algebra learning and understanding. The goal of the assessment and learning progression design is to specifically incorporate findings about the learning of students traditionally under-served and under-performing in algebra courses.

Development of a Cognition-Guided, Formative-Assessment-Intensive, Individualized Computer-Based Dynamic Geometry Learning System for Grades 3-8

Michael Battista, Ohio State University (OSU)
09/01/2011
This project is focused on creating, testing, refining, and studying a computer-based, individualized, interactive learning system for intermediate/middle school students or by teachers in classrooms. This learning system is called Individualized Dynamic Geometry Instruction and will contain four instructional modules in geometry and measurement that reflect the recommendations of the Common Core State Standards.

Development of K-8 Teachers' Knowledge and the Transition from University Student to Professional

John Madsen, University of Delaware (UD)
07/01/2005
This study examines changes in preservice and inservice K-8 teachers' understandings of science and pedagogy across a reform-based Professional Development Continuum. It researches how teachers' knowledge develops across inquiry learning experiences and how undergraduate learning experiences and the contexts of classroom practice shape new teachers' understandings and practice. The study is expected to inform models of STEM teacher education that account for the interwoven intellectual and personal dimensions of the challenging transition to inquiry-based teaching.

Development of Language-Focused Three-Dimensional Science Instructional Materials to Support English Language Learners in Fifth Grade (Collaborative Research: Lee)

Okhee Lee, New York University (NYU)
09/01/2015
The main purpose of this project is to develop instructional materials for a year-long, fifth grade curriculum for all students, including ELLs. The planned curriculum will promote language-focused and three-dimensional science learning (through blending of science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas), aligned with the Framework for K-12 Science Education, the Next Generation Science Standards, and the Conceptual Framework for Language use in the Science Classroom.

Development of Language-Focused Three-Dimensional Science Instructional Materials to Support English Language Learners in Fifth Grade (Collaborative Research: Valdes)

Guadalupe Valdes, Stanford University
09/01/2015
The main purpose of this project is to develop instructional materials for a year-long, fifth grade curriculum for all students, including ELLs. The planned curriculum will promote language-focused and three-dimensional science learning (through blending of science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas), aligned with the Framework for K-12 Science Education, the Next Generation Science Standards, and the Conceptual Framework for Language use in the Science Classroom.

Development of the Electronic Test of Early Numeracy

Arthur Baroody, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
09/15/2016
The project will develop and refine an electronic Test of Early Numeracy (e-TEN) in English and Spanish that will assess informal and formal knowledge of number and operations in domains including verbal counting, numbering, numerical relationships, and mental addition/subtraction. The overarching goal of the assessment design is to create a measure that is more accurate, more accessible to a wider range of children, and easier to administer than existing measures.

Diagnosing Teachers' Multiplicative Reasoning

Andrew Izsak, University of Georgia (UGA)
09/17/2008
This project is developing and evaluating a test form that diagnoses teachers' capacities in two closely connected cases of reasoning about multiplicative relations among quantities: fractions and proportions. Teachers' responses to test items will be informative about their capacities to reason about content in ways that support student’s thinking. The project is developing instruments using a new class of psychometric models called Diagnostic Classifcation Models (DCMs) that are based on categorical latent variables.

Diagnostic E-learning Trajectories Approach (DELTA) Applied to Rational Number Reasoning for Grades 3-8

Jere Confrey, North Carolina State University (NC State)
09/01/2007
This project aims to develop a software diagnostic tool for integrating diagnostic interviews, group administered assessments, and student data in real-time so that teachers can enter and view student status information. This project would concentrate on rational number learning in grades 3-8. The design is based on a model of learning trajectories developed from existing research studies.

Differentiated Professional Development: Building Mathematics Knowledge for Teaching Struggling Learners

Amy Brodesky, Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC)
09/01/2010
This project is creating and studying a blended professional development model (face-to-face and online) for mathematics teachers and special educators (grades 4-7) with an emphasis on teaching struggling math students in the areas of fractions, decimals, and positive/negative numbers (Common Core State Standards). The model's innovative design differentiates professional learning to address teachers' wide range of prior knowledge, experiences, and interests.

Digital Libraries Go to School

Mimi Recker, Utah State University (USU)
03/15/2006
This project helps teachers learn to use NSDL resources in ways that meaningfully affect their practice in STEM content areas while increasing their skills as designers of learning activities. The objectives of this three-year project are to: design and implement a teacher development model and STEM content development model; contribute teacher-designed learning activities to NSDL; and use evaluation and research to measure impact on teaching.

DIMEs: Immersing Teachers and Students in Virtual Engineering Internships

Jacqueline Barber, University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)
09/01/2014
This project will provide curricular and pedagogical support by developing and evaluating teacher-ready curricular Digital Internship Modules for Engineering (DIMEs). DIMES will be designed to support middle school science teachers in providing students with experiences that require students to use engineering design practices and science understanding to solve a real-world problem, thereby promoting a robust understanding of science and engineering, and motivating students to increased interest in science and engineering.

Disciplinary Experts in Science Education Research: A University of Maryland Program for Producing STEM Education Researchers

Andrew Elby, University of Maryland (UMD)
01/01/2008
This project supports five graduate students with backgrounds in the natural and learning sciences as they achieve masters-level expertise in a science discipline and pursue coursework and complete dissertations in science education research. The program prepares them to 1) collaborate with educational and developmental psychologists and discipline-based science education researchers, and 2) to develop and teach courses that break down the traditional barriers between science teaching methods courses and science content courses for teachers.

Discourse Analysis: A Catalyst for Reflective Inquiry in Mathematics Classrooms

Beth Herbel-Eisenmann, Michigan State University (MSU)
05/01/2008
This project is examining the nature of mathematical discourse in middle school mathematics classrooms; the ways in which middle school mathematics teachers’ beliefs impact the discourse when working to enact reform-oriented instruction; and how this information can be used to incorporate practitioner research using concepts and tools of discourse analysis to improve mathematics instruction. The educational goal is to design a long-term professional development program that will continue beyond funding with other cohorts of teachers.

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