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

Evaluation of the Sustainability and Effectiveness of Inquiry-Based Advanced Placement Science Courses: Evidence From an In-Depth Formative Evaluation and Randomized Controlled Study

Mark Long, George Washington University (GW), University of Washington (UW)
09/15/2012
This study examines the impact of the newly revised Advanced Placement (AP) Biology and Chemistry courses on students' understanding of and ability to utilize scientific inquiry, on students' confidence in engaging in college-level material, and on students’ enrollment and persistence in college STEM majors. The project provides estimates of the impact of students' AP-course taking on their progress into postsecondary educational experiences and their intent to continue to prepare to be future engineers and scientists.

Every Day, Every Child: A Partnership for Research with Elementary Math and Science Instructional Specialists

Kimberly Markworth, Western Washington University (WWU)
09/15/2013
This exploratory project is studying the use of mathematics and science specialist teachers in elementary schools. The first four studies are in six school districts in Washington State. They are characterizing and categorizing the specialists, investigating the content knowledge, preparation and needs of these teachers, determining their instructional effectiveness, and determining their impact on student learning and attitudes towards mathematics and science.

Evolution Readiness: A Modeling Approach

Paul Horwitz, Concord Consortium
09/01/2008
This project uses computer-based models of interacting organisms and their environments to support a learning progression leading to an appreciation of the theory of evolution and evidence that supports it. The project has created a research-based curriculum centered on progressively complex models that exhibit emergent behavior. The project will help improve the teaching of complex scientific topics and provide a reliable means of directly assessing students' conceptual understanding and inquiry skills.

Examining Coaching in Elementary (K-8) Mathematics Classrooms

Elizabeth Burroughs, Montana State University
07/15/2009
This project conducts research on knowledge that contributes to successful coaching in two domains: coaching knowledge and mathematics content knowledge. The influence of these knowledge domains on both coaches and teachers is being examined in two ways: (1) by investigating correlations between assessments of coach and teacher knowledge and practice in each domain and (2) by investigating causal effects of targeted professional development for coaches.

Examining Different Curricular Approaches and Their Impact on High School Students' Understanding of Algebra: Phase 1 -- Studying the Intended Curriculum

Mary Ann Huntley, Cornell University
09/03/2008
We are analyzing the intended algebra curriculum as represented in a variety of high-school mathematics textbooks – Core Plus Mathematics Project (CPMP), Discovering Mathematics (Key Curriculum Press), EDC's Center for Mathematics Education, Glencoe, Interactive Mathematics Program (IMP), and University of Chicago School Mathematics Project (UCSMP). The textbook analysis is based on two dimensions frequently used for curriculum analysis: a content dimension and a cognitive dimension.

Examining Formative Assessment Practices for English Language Learners in Science Classrooms (Collaborative Research: Li)

Min Li, University of Washington (UW)
09/01/2011
This is an exploratory study to identify critical aspects of effective science formative assessment (FA) practices for English Language Learners (ELLs), and the contextual factors influencing such practices. FA, in the context of the study, is viewed as a process contributing to the science learning of ELLs, as opposed to the administration of discrete sets of instruments to collect data from students. The study targets Spanish-speaking, elementary and middle school students.

Examining Formative Assessment Practices for English Language Learners in Science Classrooms (Collaborative Research: Ruiz-Primo)

Maria Araceli Ruiz-Primo, University of Colorado Denver
09/01/2011
This is an exploratory study to identify critical aspects of effective science formative assessment (FA) practices for English Language Learners (ELLs), and the contextual factors influencing such practices. FA, in the context of the study, is viewed as a process contributing to the science learning of ELLs, as opposed to the administration of discrete sets of instruments to collect data from students. The study targets Spanish-speaking, elementary and middle school students.

Examining Formative Assessment Practices for English Language Learners in Science Classrooms (Collaborative Research: Solano-Flores)

Guillermo Solano-Flores, University of Colorado Boulder
09/01/2011
This is an exploratory study to identify critical aspects of effective science formative assessment (FA) practices for English Language Learners (ELLs), and the contextual factors influencing such practices. FA, in the context of the study, is viewed as a process contributing to the science learning of ELLs, as opposed to the administration of discrete sets of instruments to collect data from students. The study targets Spanish-speaking, elementary and middle school students.

Examining Teacher Discourse and Whole-class Interaction: A Social Semiotics Model for Mathematics Lesson Study Groups

Betina Zolkower, Brooklyn College, CUNY, Adelphi University
09/01/2008
The project is an exploratory, qualitative case study of a mathematics Lesson Study group for 12 beginning mathematics teachers working in high-poverty middle schools in Brooklyn. The project's Lesson Study model employs social semiotics to examine the intersection between language and learning in mathematics classrooms. Additionally, on-site Lesson Study groups will also be launched in some participating schools.

Expanding and Sustaining Understanding Evolution

Roy Caldwell, University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)
10/15/2008
This project will (1) identify the characteristics and needs of college-level target learners and their instructors with respect to evolution, (2) articulate the components for expanding the Understanding Evolution (UE) site to include an Undergraduate Lounge in which students and instructors will be able to access a variety of evolution resources, (3) develop a strategic plan for increasing awareness of UE, and (4) develop a strategic plan for maintenance and continued growth of the site.

Expanding PhET Interactive Science Simulations to Grades 4-8: A Research-Based Approach

Katherine Perkins, University of Colorado Boulder
09/01/2010
Colorado’s PhET project and Stanford’s AAALab will develop and study learning from interactive simulations designed for middle school science classrooms. Products will include 35 interactive sims with related support materials freely available from the PhET website; new technologies to collect real-time data on student use of sims; and guidelines for the development and use of sims for this age population. The team will also publish research on how students learn from sims.

Exploring Content Standards for Engineering Education in K-12

Greg Pearson, National Academy of Sciences (NAS)
10/01/2007
This project is assessing the potential value and feasibility of developing and implementing content standards for K-12 engineering education. The project is reviewing existing efforts to define what students should know; identifying elements of existing standards for related content areas that could link to engineering; considering how purposes for engineering education might affect content and implementation of standards; and suggesting changes to policies, programs, and practices necessary to develop and implement engineering standards.

Exploring Engineering Design Knowing and Thinking as an Innovation in STEM Learning

Kurt Becker, Utah State University (USU)
09/01/2009
This project investigates how high school students' understanding about design thinking compares to that of experienced practitioners and whether participation in a multiyear sequence of courses focused on engineering correlates with changes in design thinking. The project builds upon the Standards for Technological Literacy and courses developed at the University of Colorado and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Exploring Methods for Improving Teachers' Mathematical Quality of Instruction

Heather Hill, Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE)
12/01/2012
In this project, researchers are working with 4th and 5th grade teachers to improve their mathematics instruction by experimenting with different ways to implement the MQI model of professional development. The professional development experiences are intentionally aligned with the Mathematical Quality of Instruction (MQI) observation instrument. This research can inform models of professional development by providing more information about various ways that the same model of professional development can be implemented.

Exploring the Development of Beginning Secondary Science Teachers in Various Induction Programs

Julie Luft, Arizona State University (ASU)
06/16/2005
This research study focuses on the impact of different teacher preparation and induction models, as well as on the quality and persistence of secondary science teachers. Combining the strengths of case-based research with a quasi-experimental design this study will follow 120 secondary science teachers for three years from four different and well characterized preservice - induction programs.

Exploring the Effects of Teacher Research Experiences on Classroom Inquiry

D. Ellen Granger, Florida State University (FSU)
10/01/2006
Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) programs have been designed to give teachers authentic scientific inquiry experience, but their results have remained largely unexamined. This research focuses on analyzing RET programs through description of their essential features, their efficacy in fostering teachers’ understanding and enactment of inquiry, their interaction with the personal characteristics of participating teachers, and the influence of teaching through inquiry on student learning in science.

Exploring the Efficacy of Engineering is Elementary (E4)

Christine Cunningham, Museum of Science, Boston
09/15/2012
This project is developing evidence about the efficacy of the Engineering is Elementary curriculum under ideal conditions by studying the student and teacher-level effects of implementation. The project seeks to determine the core elements of the curriculum that support successful use. The findings from this study have broad implications for how engineering design curricular can be developed and implemented at the elementary level.

Exploring the Frontiers of Science with Online Telescopes

Roy Gould, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
09/15/2007
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.  

Exploring Ways to Enhance Science Learning for English Language Learners Through Improvement in Teacher Self-Efficacy Beliefs

Neporcha Cone, Kennesaw State University Research and Service Foundation
09/15/2015
This project will explore the influence of a professional learning community model on preparing preservice and novice science teachers to teach in culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms of English language learners. The project will study the effect of a professional learning community model on teachers' self-efficacy beliefs and practices as it relates to teaching science to this population.

Exploring Ways to Transform Teaching Practices to Increase Native Hawaiian Students' Interest in STEM

Pauline Chinn, University of Hawaii at Manoa
09/01/2015
This project will integrate Native Hawaiian cross-cultural practices to explore ways to help teachers know about and know how to connect resources of students' familiar worlds to their science teaching. This project will transform the ways teachers orient their teaching at the upper elementary and middle grades through professional development courses offered at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Facilitating a Deeper Understanding of Change in the Earth System on Multiple Time Scales

Tamara Ledley, TERC, Inc.
09/01/2008
This project is developing a week-long unit of activities focused on the cryosphere, implementing the activities with students, and studying the activities’ effectiveness. The overarching goals of this project are to build a sequence of scaffolded investigations that will help students more fully understand the cryosphere; and investigate the effectiveness of the sequence of and investigations at helping students understand how and why a component of the Earth system varies over time.

Facilitating Teachers' and Young Children's Science Learning Through Iterative Cycles of Teacher Professional Development

Eleanor Armour-Thomas, Queens College, CUNY
08/01/2016
This professional development project engages a sample of kindergarten and 1st-grade teachers in a series of workshops, during which teachers will work individually and together to design and test new lesson plans that enhance teachers' abilities to help young children think and act like a scientist. Moreover, teachers work individually and together to construct lessons that connect science content to young learners' cultural backgrounds, interests and prior knowledge.

Focus on Energy: Preparing Elementary Teachers to Meet the NGSS Challenge (Collaborative Research: Lacy)

Sara Lacy, TERC, Inc.
09/01/2014
This project will develop and investigate the opportunities and limitations of Focus on Energy, a professional development (PD) system for elementary teachers (grades 3-5). The PD will contain: resources that will help teachers to interpret, evaluate and cultivate students' ideas about energy; classroom activities to help them to identify, track and represent energy forms and flows; and supports to help them in engaging students in these activities.

Focus on Energy: Preparing Elementary Teachers to Meet the NGSS Challenge (Collaborative Research: Vokos)

Stamatis Vokos, Seattle Pacific University (SPU)
09/01/2014
This project will develop and investigate the opportunities and limitations of Focus on Energy, a professional development (PD) system for elementary teachers (grades 3-5). The PD will contain: resources that will help teachers to interpret, evaluate and cultivate students' ideas about energy; classroom activities to help them to identify, track and represent energy forms and flows; and supports to help them in engaging students in these activities.

Formative Assessment Delivery System (FADS)

Mark Wilson, University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)
08/15/2007
This project uses new psychometric techniques to create a technological tool that could evaluate how well students in the 4th-8th mathematics and science classrooms respond to complex performance tasks. The purpose of this tool is to improve the instruction of teachers in mathematics and science. It will produce real-time individualized diagnoses of instructional needs to help teachers plan instruction that specifically addresses the learning needs of each student in that class.

Formative Assessment in Mathematics: Current Status and Guidelines for Future Developments

Jamal Abedi, University of California, Davis (UC Davis)
09/01/2010
In response to the increased use of formative assessment practices in California's PK-12 mathematics classrooms, this project will investigate what formative assessments are in use, how practitioners and students are utilizing these assessments, and how they impact performance on summative state assessments. The main outcome of this study will be a set of research-informed and field-tested conclusions, recommendations, guidelines, and tools for the development and use of new...

Formative Assessment in the Mathematics Classroom: Engaging Teachers and Students

Cheryl Tobey, Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC)
09/15/2009
This project is developing a two-year, intensive professional development model to build middle-grades mathematics teachers’ knowledge and implementation of formative assessment. Using a combination of institutes, classroom practice, and ongoing support through professional learning communities and web-based resources, this model helps teachers internalize and integrate a comprehensive understanding of formative assessment into daily practice.

Forming Better STEM Career Trajectories: Sustaining and Scaling-Up CAP

Barbara Schneider, Michigan State University (MSU)
09/15/2013
This study investigates the sustainability of the College Ambition Program (CAP) that has demonstrated promise in increasing the number of students who attend postsecondary colleges or universities. The CAP is a whole school high school intervention that promotes a college-going culture in which all students are provided resources that encourage postsecondary attendance with a special emphasis on STEM.

Fossil Finders: Using Fossils to Teach About Evolution, Inquiry and Nature of Science

Barbara Crawford, University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc. (UGARF)
01/01/2008
This project engages children in classrooms across the country in an authentic investigation of Devonian fossils. Goals include supporting children in the use of evidence in constructing explanations of natural phenomena, and motivating culturally and linguistically diverse groups of children to engage in learning science. Deliverables include development and testing of an interactive website where children learn how to identify the fossils they find and add their own data to an emerging database.

Fostering Mathematics Success in English Language Learners

Mark Driscoll, Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC)
08/15/2008
This project is an efficacy study of the Fostering Geometrical Thinking Toolkit (FGTT) previously developed with NSF support. FGTT is a 40-hour professional development intervention focusing on properties of geometric figures, geometric transformations, and measurement of length, area, and volume. The study addresses four research questions, three examining participating teachers and one examining the impact of teachers' professional development on ELL students.

Fostering Pedagogical Argumentation: Pedagogical Reasoning with and About Student Science Ideas

Leema Berland, University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison)
10/01/2013
This project will use an iterative approach to design activities and supports that foster pedagogical argumentation for use in undergraduate teacher education courses. This project will examine: 1) whether and how PSTs engage in pedagogical argumentation and 2) whether and how this engagement impacts how they listen and respond to student ideas.

Fostering STEM Trajectories: Bridging ECE Research, Practice, and Policy

Lori Takeuchi, Joan Ganz Cooney Center
06/15/2015
This project will convene stakeholders in STEM and early childhood education to discuss better integration of STEM in the early grades. PIs will begin with a phase of background research to surface critical issues in teaching and learning in early childhood education and STEM.  A number of reports will be produced including commissioned papers, vision papers, and a forum synthesis report.

Foundation Science: A Comprehensive High School Science Curriculum

Jacqueline Miller, Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC)
12/15/2004
This project is developing a comprehensive science curriculum for grades 9-11 and related professional development materials. The curriculum prepares students for high stakes testing, accommodates a new understanding about how students learn, updates teacher content and pedagogical knowledge and serves an increasingly diverse student population. The curriculum consists of eight one-semester modules -- two each in biology, chemistry, Earth science, and physics.

Foundations of Algebra in the Elementary and Middle Grades: Supporting Students to Make, Represent and Justify General Claims about Operations

Susan Jo Russell, TERC, Inc.
07/01/2006
This project develops images, extended examples, and principles that illustrate how the articulation, representation and justification of general claims about operations evolve in the elementary grades and how this work supports the transition from arithmetic to algebra in the middle grades. An online course uses the Sourcebook as a text to engage teachers in considering the underlying pedagogical and mathematical aspects of the work and implementing these ideas in their instruction.

From Elementary Generalist to Mathematics Specialist: Examining Teacher Practice and Student Outcomes in Departmental and Self-Contained Models

Corey Webel, University of Missouri, Columbia
08/01/2014
This research investigates student mathematics learning outcomes at the elementary level in relation to teacher expertise (elementary teachers with math specialist certification versus generally prepared elementary teachers) and school organization (departmentalized versus self-contained mathematics classrooms). Findings will provide evidence of the impact of content-specific teacher expertise and a departmentalized school organizational model that offers students access to well-qualified teachers of mathematics with no additional staffing costs.

From Undergraduate STEM Major to Enacting the NGSS

Valerie Otero, University of Colorado Boulder
08/01/2013
The Colorado Learning Assistant (LA) model, recognized nationally as a hallmark teacher recruitment and preparation program, has run a national workshop annually for four years to disseminate and scale the program. This project expands the existing annual workshop to address changing needs of participants and to prepare eight additional faculty members to lead new regional workshops.

FUN: A Finland US Network for Engagement and STEM Learning in Games

Jodi Asbell-Clarke, TERC, Inc.
10/01/2012
As part of a SAVI, researchers from the U.S. and from Finland will collaborate on investigating the relationships between engagement and learning in STEM transmedia games. The project involves two intensive, 5 day workshops to identify new measurement instruments to be integrated into each other's research and development work. The major research question is to what degree learners in the two cultures respond similarly or differently to the STEM learning games.

Further Development and Testing of the Target Inquiry Model for Middle and High School Science Teacher Professional Development (Collaborative Research: Herrington)

Deborah Herrington, Grand Valley State University (GVSU), Miami University
08/15/2011
This project scales and further tests the Target Inquiry professional development model. The scale-up and further testing would involve adding physics, biology and geology at Grand Valley State University, and implementing the program at Miami University with chemistry teachers. The project is also producing a website of instructional materials for middle and secondary science. 

Further Development and Testing of the Target Inquiry Model for Middle and High School Science Teacher Professional Development (Collaborative Research: Yezierski)

Ellen Yezierski, Grand Valley State University (GVSU), Miami University
08/15/2011
This project scales and further tests the Target Inquiry professional development model. The model involves teachers in three core experiences: 1) a research experience for teachers, 2) materials adaptation, and 3) an action research project. The original program was implemented with high school chemistry teachers, and was shown to result in significant increases, with large effect sizes, in teachers' understanding of science inquiry and quality of instruction, and in science achievement of those teachers' students.

Gateways to Algebraic Motivation, Engagement and Success (GAMES): Supporting and Assessing Fraction Proficiency with Game-Based, Mobile Applications and Devices

Michael Evans, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)
08/15/2011
This project is designing digital games for middle school students that will help them prepare for success in Algebra. The games are intended to help students gain a deep understanding of measurement and fraction concepts that are critical as they begin to learn algebra. The project studies students' development of fraction concepts, their engagement in the tasks, and the use of hand-held devices as a useful platform for games.

Geniverse: A Student Collaboratory for Biology Cyberlearning

Frieda Reichsman, Concord Consortium
09/15/2009
This project addresses biology teachers and students at the high school level, responding to the exponential increases occurring in biology knowledge today and the need for students to understand the experimental basis behind biology concepts. The project studies the feasibility of engaging students in an environment where they can learn firsthand how science knowledge develops in the fields of bioinformatics and DNA science by performing collaborative, simulated experiments to solve open-ended problems.

GeniVille: Exploring the Intersection of School and Social Media

Paul Horwitz, Concord Consortium
10/01/2012
This project examines the design principles by which computer-based science learning experiences for students designed for classroom use can be integrated into virtual worlds that leverage students' learning of science in an informal and collaborative online environment. GeniVille is the integration of Geniverse, a education based game that develops middle school students' understanding of genetics with Whyville, an educational virtual word in which students can engage in a wide variety of science activities and games.

GeoGebra 2010 Conference in North America

Dani Novak, Ithaca College
04/01/2010
This project provides partial support for the First North American GeoGebra Conference, GeoGebra-NA2010, to be held July 27-28, 2010 at Ithaca College. The global mission of this conference is to build a community of mathematicians, mathematics educators, and classroom teachers who can develop the potential of GeoGebra and other similar software for transformation of mathematics instruction and curricula through creative development, practical experimentation, and research.

Geological Models for Explorations of Dynamic Earth (GEODE): Integrating the Power of Geodynamic Models in Middle School Earth Science Curriculum

Amy Pallant, Concord Consortium
08/15/2016
This project will develop and research the transformational potential of geodynamic models embedded in learning progression-informed online curricula modules for middle school teaching and learning of Earth science. The primary goal of the project is to conduct design-based research to study the development of model-based curriculum modules, assessment instruments, and professional development materials for supporting student learning of (1) plate tectonics and related Earth processes, (2) modeling practices, and (3) uncertainty-infused argumentation practices.

Geometry Assessments for Secondary Teachers (GAST)

William Bush, University of Louisville (U of L)
10/01/2008
Geometry Assessments for Secondary Teachers (GAST) represents a collaborative partnership among faculty and staff at the University of Louisville, the University of Kentucky, Florida State University, Alpine Testing Solutions, and Horizon Research, Inc. to develop a knowledge framework and assessments for secondary mathematics teachers' geometry knowledge for teaching. The framework for the assessments will be designed to collect validity evidence for predicting effective geometry teaching and improving student achievement.

GRIDS: Graphing Research on Inquiry with Data in Science

Marcia Linn, University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)
09/01/2014
The Graphing Research on Inquiry with Data in Science (GRIDS) project will investigate strategies to improve middle school students' science learning by focusing on student ability to interpret and use graphs. GRIDS will undertake a comprehensive program to address the need for improved graph comprehension. The project will create, study, and disseminate technology-based assessments, technologies that aid graph interpretation, instructional designs, professional development, and learning materials.

Guiding Understanding via Information from Digital Environments (GUIDE)

Chad Dorsey, Concord Consortium
09/15/2015
This project will develop and test a digital monitoring tool that will enable teachers to track student learning within a digital learning system and quickly adjust classroom instructional strategies to facilitate learning. The tool will be developed for use with an existing digital curriculum for high school genetics.

Helping Mathematics Teacher Become Culturally Relevant Educators: New Tools for a New Generation-Conference II

Martin Johnson, University of Maryland (UMD)
08/01/2011
This project is hosting a conference for teachers and school administrators on Culturally Relevant Teaching (CRT). Teams of teachers and administrators are recruited from across the country. The conference brings together experts in culturally relevant teaching pedagogy with practitioners around the theme of promoting high achievement in mathematics among minority children and of children in urban settings.

Helping Teachers Become Cultural Relevant Teachers: Developing New Tools for a New Generation

Martin Johnson, University of Maryland (UMD)
09/01/2009
This project involves holding a conference, Helping Teachers Become Culturally Relevant Teachers: Developing New Tools for a New Generation, where the goals are to bring together the very best researchers/practitioners in this field to present a clear theoretical underpinning of Culturally Relevant Teaching (CRT), present the most recent rigorous research to support the theory, and show clearly how CRT theory translates directly into classroom action.

Helping Teachers to Use and Students To Learn From Contrasting Examples: A Scale-up Study in Algebra I

Jon Star, Harvard University
09/15/2008
Several small-scale experimental classroom studies Star and Rittle-Johnson demonstrate the value of comparison in mathematics learning: Students who learned by comparing and contrasting alternative solution methods made greater gains in conceptual knowledge, procedural knowledge, and flexibility than those who studied the same solution methods one at a time. This study will extend that prior work by developing, piloting, and then evaluating the impact of comparison on students' learning of mathematics in a full-year algebra course.

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