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

Project titleOrganizationsort iconPI first namePI last nameAward date

The Development of Student Cohorts for the Enhancement of Mathematical Literacy in Under Served Populations

Robert Moses, Algebra Project, Inc.
This project is developing and conducting research on the Cohort Model for addressing the mathematics education of students that perform in the bottom quartile on state and district tests. The predicted outcome is that most students will remain in the cohort for all four years and that almost all of those who do will perform well enough on college entrance exams to be admitted and will test out of remedial mathematics courses.

Linking Middle & Early High School Science & Mathematics Assessment Items to Local, State & National Content Standards

George DeBoer, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
This project is developing a bank of mathematics and science assessment items and related tools aligned with state and national content standards that will be available to test developers, curriculum developers, researchers, teachers, teacher educators, parents and students. Specific tools will include a bank of about 300 test items, assessment maps and the inclusion of materials that target students with English as a second language.

STEM Learning in the Context of Green School Buildings: A Curriculum Planning Project for the Middle Grades

George DeBoer, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
This project uses green school buildings as an opportunity to involve students in STEM activities in their environment. The goal is to produce an action plan for transforming the middle school science and mathematics curriculum by rethinking the content that is taught, the ways in which students and teachers can engage effectively with that content, and the role that technology can play to ensure wide access to the data and to the new curriculum.

A Conference on Progress and Factors that Contribute to Closing the STEM Achievement Gap

Sharon Robinson, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)
The objectives of this proposed conference are to: (1) review current research on the achievement gap in mathematics and science with a focus on school-related variables that adversely affect outcomes from low-income and minority students; (2) discuss teacher quality and effective teaching in STEM; (3) identify effective strategies and models that promote equity in education and close the STEM achievement gap; and (4) build collaborative, interdisciplinary partnerships for addressing the U.S. achievement gap in STEM.

Establishing a Roadmap for Large-Scale Improvement of K-12 Education in the Geographical Sciences

Daniel Edelson, American Geographical Society (AGS), Association of American Geographers (AAG), National Geographic Society, National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE)
This project will engage in a community-wide effort to synthesize the literature from a broad range of fields and to use the findings to create frameworks that will guide the planning, implementation, and scale-up of efforts to improve geographic education over the next decade. This will result in a set of publicly reviewed, consensus reports that will guide collaborative efforts and broaden awareness of the acute need for geographic literacy and geographic science education.

Implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards at the State Level: A Conference to Determine the Role of the Earth and Space Sciences Community

Edward Robeck, American Geological Institute (AGI)
This conference is to develop a strategy for increasing the import of teaching Earth and Space Sciences in schools to make students ready for college and careers. The summit brings together key members of the Earth and Space Sciences (ESS) community to identify and devise ways in which they can work together to help states and school districts implement college and career readiness standards.

How to Run a Teacher's Circle

Brian Conrey, American Institute of Mathematics (AIM)
This project is preparing teams to bring together research mathematicians and middle school teachers of mathematics through the use of Teacher's Circles. These Circles are groups of mathematicians and school mathematics teachers that meet regularly to do mathematics. Such Circles have been shown to be mathematically stimulating for both the teachers and the mathematicians and the students of both benefit from the relationship.

Investigating the Impact of Math Teachers' Circles on Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching and Classroom Practice

Brian Conrey, American Institute of Mathematics (AIM)
This project is connecting mathematicians and mathematics teachers in middle schools by offering summer workshops and continued communication throughout the year. The workshops focus on mathematical problem solving and include activities that offer multiple entry points. The goal of the workshops is to increase teachers' knowledge of mathematics for teaching and to help teachers use their knowledge to improve student learning of mathematics.

Intensified Algebra Efficacy Study

Kirk Walters, American Institutes for Research (AIR)
Students who fail algebra in the ninth grade are significantly less likely than their peers to graduate from high school on time. This project intends to test a common support strategy for at-risk students that provides an extra period of algebra, commonly known as a "double dose" condition. The Intensified Algebra (IA) is an intervention that addresses both the academic and non-academic needs of students.

Ecology Disrupted: Using Real Scientific Data about Daily Life to Link Environmental Issues to Ecological Processes in Secondary School Science Classrooms (Collaborative Research: Gano)

Steve Gano, American Museum of Natural History (AMNH)
This project is refining and testing two case study units on contemporary issues in ecology for urban middle and high school students underserved in their connection to nature. The case studies are based on two Science Bulletins, digital media stories about current science produced by the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), which use current scientific data to link ecological principles to real-world environmental issues, and to link issues to human daily life.

Ecology Disrupted: Using Museum-based Science and Educational Technology to Link Real World Environmental Issues to Basic Ecological Principles

Steve Gano, American Museum of Natural History (AMNH)
This project uses media such as Science Bulletin Snapshots to engage students with current research and to foster scientific understanding and civic engagement. Through environmental case studies, students learn to develop hypotheses, analyze scientific data, and make conclusions. To address the objectives, the project will create inquiry-based case studies to situate several central ecological principles, as determined by national and state standards, into the context of environmental issues.

An Innovative Approach to Earth Science Teacher Preparation: Uniting Science, Informal Science Education, and Schools to Raise Student Achievement

Maritza Macdonald, American Museum of Natural History (AMNH)
The American Museum of Natural History in New York City, in partnership with New York University, and in collaboration with five high-needs schools, is developing, implementing, and researching a five-year pilot Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program in Earth Science. The program is delivered by the Museum's scientific and education teams and its evaluation covers aspects of the program from recruitment to first year of teaching.

Moving Next Generation Science Standards into Practice: A Middle School Ecology Unit and Teacher Professional Development Model

American Museum of Natural History (AMNH)
Schools and teachers face unprecedented challenges in meeting the ambitious goals of integrating core interdisciplinary science ideas with science and engineering practices as described in new standards. This project will develop a middle school ecology unit and related teacher professional development that will help high-need and urban middle school students, including English Language Learners, understand these ideas and related practices.

Ecology Disrupted: Using Real Scientific Data About Daily Life to Link Environmental Issues to Ecological Processes in Secondary School Science Classrooms (Collaborative Research: Wyner)

Yael Wyner, American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), The City College of New York, CUNY
We developed and tested two ecology case study units for urban high school students underserved in their connection to nature. The case studies, based on digital media stories about current science produced by the American Museum of Natural History, use current scientific data to link ecological principles to daily life and environmental issues. Preliminary testing results show that treatment students made significantly higher gains than the control students on the project's major learning goals.

ABI and CSTA Collaboration to Reach K-12 Teachers from Under-represented Communities at the 2009 Grace Hopper Celebration

Telle Whitney, Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (ABI)
This project convenes K-12 teachers working with underrepresented populations of students at the 2009 Grace Hopper Celebration and produces a workshop and white paper designed to (1) instigate discussion of equity and computer science curricula; (2) create knowledge sharing opportunities on concrete solutions grounded in teachers’ articulated needs; (3) disseminate these solutions to a broad audience of teachers, STEM practitioners, and interested stakeholders; and (4) evaluate the effectiveness of these solutions in classrooms.

Science and Mathematics Integration for Literacy Enhancement (Project SMILE)

Pradeep Dass, Appalachian State University
The goals of STEM instruction are to educate a populace that is scientifically and mathematically literate and who can solve real-world problems by applying science and mathematics. This exploratory project is designed to study the effectiveness of professional development focused on the integration of mathematics and science instruction, mediated by technology tools, to improve middle school teachers' ability to teach scientific inquiry and mathematical problem solving.

Reform Math Students' Transition from High School to College

Steven Kramer, Arcadia University
This project has two goals:1) to discover methods that can efficiently obtain information about the effects of high school programs on eventual college success. Methods we are considering include obtaining transcripts from post-secondary institutions, surveying high school graduates, and obtaining information from the National Student Clearinghouse.2) to explore how students who studied Contemporary Mathematics in Context (Core Plus) or the Integrated Mathematics Program (IMP) fare in post secondary institutions.

PolarTREC -- Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating

Janet Warburton, Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS)
This teacher professional enhancement program brings K-12 educators and polar researchers together in hands-on field experiences in the Arctic and Antarctic. Project activities and products foster the integration of research and education to produce a legacy of long-term teacher-researcher collaborations, improvement of teacher content knowledge and teaching practices, shareable online learning resources based on real-world science, improved student knowledge of and interest in the Arctic and Antarctic, and broad public engagement in polar science.

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

Patrick Thompson, Arizona State University (ASU)
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.

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

Julie Luft, Arizona State University (ASU)
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.

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?

Embodied STEM Learning Across Technology-Based Learning Environments

Arthur Glenberg, Arizona State University (ASU)
This project conducts interdisciplinary research to advance understanding of embodied learning as it applies to STEM topics across a range of current technology-based learning environments (e.g., desktop simulations, interactive whiteboards, and 3D interactive environments). The project has two central research questions: How are student knowledge gains impacted by the degree of embodied learning and to what extent do the affordances of different technology-based learning environments constrain or support embodied learning for STEM topics?

Cross-Sector Insights Toward Aligning Education Research and Real-World Impact

Sasha Barab, Arizona State University (ASU)
The goal of the project is to inform the development of an impact-based research methodology (IBR) to enable a more direct and overt connections between academic research on games and the development of educational products and services that are sustainable and scalable.

Supporting Teacher Practice to Facilitate and Assess Oral Scientific Argumentation: Embedding a Real-Time Assessment of Speaking and Listening into an Argumentation-Rich Curriculum (Collaborative Research: Henderson)

Joseph Henderson, Arizona State University (ASU)
The fundamental purpose of this project is to support teacher practice and professional learning around oral scientific argumentation in order to improve the quality of this practice in classrooms. The key outcome of this work will be a research-informed and field-tested prototype to improve the quality of teaching and learning argumentation in middle school science classrooms usable in different learning environments.

Capacity Building in Computer Science

Christine Stephenson, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
This exploratory project aims to develop a community of individuals and organizations working together to address critical issues in K-12 computer science education by broadening the awareness of the need for curriculum computer science standards, providing multiple levels of professional development, conducting and disseminating research in computer science education, and promoting this subject as a unique field of study in schools.

Online Science Teacher Professional Development: Optimization of Asynchronous Learning Models

Nancy Moreno, Baylor College of Medicine
This project is comparing and evaluating different models for the delivery of online professional development aimed at elementary science teachers. The focus is on asynchronous (anytime, anywhere) and minimally facilitated models, because these approaches hold promise for reaching large numbers of teachers in a cost-effective way. The research capitalizes on experiences with BCM's award-winning, high traffic website for educators, BioEd Online.

Project BEST: Better Education for Science Teachers

Janet Carlson, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, Inc. (BSCS)
This project studies the influence of a professional development program on teachers' PCK and the related impact of PCK on student learning .The proposal team will design and deliver a professional development program for science teachers that is based on the use of curriculum materials, professional development, integrates efforts to improve secondary science teachers' content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and skill, and helps them to apply this knowledge to the context of their own classroom.

Science Teachers Learning from Lesson Analysis (STeLLA) Professional Development Program: Scaling for Effectiveness

Kathleen Roth, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, Inc. (BSCS)
This is a full research and development project addressing challenge question: How can promising innovations be successfully implemented, sustained, and scaled in schools and districts? The promising innovation is the Science Teachers Learning from Lesson Analysis (STeLLA) professional development (PD) program, which supports 4th- and 5th-grade teachers in teaching concepts in biology (food webs), physical science (phase changes), and earth science (earth’s changing surface, weather).

BSCS Science: An Inquiry Approach -- A Phase II Proposal

Pamela Van Scotter, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, Inc. (BSCS)
This project is developing a three-year science program for grades 9, 10, and 11. This program presents the core concepts in physical science, life science, earth-space science, and inquiry as articulated in the National Science Education Standards. The program also engages students in integration across the disciplines in relevant, social contexts to address other standards, and provides high school students and teachers nationwide with a coherent alternative to the traditional sequence of biology, chemistry, and...

Video Analysis of Science Teaching: Developing a Shared Words-to-images Analytical Tool

Kathleen Roth, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, Inc. (BSCS)
This project will develop video-case modules for use in pre-service teacher preparation programs. Modules will target specific grade bands (K-3, 4-5, 6-8) and address standards-based content domains, to help future teachers deepen their content knowledge, pedagogic skills and ability to analyze student thinking. The cases will illustrate reform classroom practices and more traditional instruction, include interviews with teachers and students, and incorporate a set of analytic tasks that promote users' critical observations of the cases.

Videocases for Science Teaching Analysis Plus (ViSTA Plus): Efficacy of a Videocase-Based, Analysis-of-Practice Teacher Preparation Program

Chris Wilson, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, Inc. (BSCS)
The new ViSTA Plus study explores implementation of a program for pre-service/beginning teachers that is fully centered on learning from an analysis-of-practice perspective, addressing the central research question of "What is the value of a videocase-based, analysis-of-practice approach to elementary science teacher preparation?" The project is producing science-specific, analysis-of-practice materials to support the professional development of teacher educators and professional development leaders using the ViSTA Plus program at universities and in district-based induction programs.

Testing a Professional Development Model for High School Science Reform and the Relationship of Key Variables to Student Achievement

Jody Bintz, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, Inc. (BSCS)
This project tests the efficacy of an intensive, three year professional development program, the BSCS National Academy for Curriculum Leadership (NACL) on student science achievement in the state of Washington. The goal of the NACL is to develop the capacity of district-based secondary science leadership teams to sustain the implementation of research-based science instructional materials that promote improvement in teaching and learning.

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

Molly Stuhlsatz, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, Inc. (BSCS)
The goal of this research is to investigate whether the integration of real data from cutting-edge scientific research in grade 6-10 classrooms will increase students’ quantitative reasoning ability in the context of science. We will adapt the materials to address current science and mathematics standards, including key concepts from  develop a professional development program for teachers, and test the efficacy of the materials through a quasi-experiment. 

Understanding Ebola Virus Disease

Mark Bloom, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, Inc. (BSCS)
This project will develop and disseminate an online educational resource called Understanding Ebola Virus Disease (UEVD). The objective is to provide users with an interactive learning experience that helps them acquire a basic understanding of factors that influence infection, transmission, and management of Ebola virus disease. 

Science Teachers Learning from Lesson Analysis (STeLLA): High School Biology

Chris Wilson, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, Inc. (BSCS)
This project will develop and test a biology teacher professional model that employs analysis of videotaped lessons to promote increased biology content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge among practicing biology teachers. The content of the professional development activities will focus on the crosscutting concepts of stability and change that link core ideas in three areas of biology: cell biology, heredity, and evolution.

Three-Dimensional Teaching and Learning: Rebuilding and Researching an Online Middle School Curriculum

Susan Kowalski, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, Inc. (BSCS)
This project will develop an online curriculum-based supported by a teacher professional development (PD) program by rebuilding an existing life science unit of Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) Middle School Science. The project is designed to be an exemplar of fully digital Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) aligned resources for teachers and students, creating an NGSS-aligned learning environment combining disciplinary core ideas with science and engineering practices and cross-cutting concepts.

Supporting Grade 5-8 Students in Writing Scientific Explanations

Katherine McNeill, Boston College (BC)
This project is writing and researching a book supporting grade 5-8 students in scientific explanations and arguments. The book provides written and video examples from a variety of contexts in terms of content and diversity of students. The book and accompanying facilitator materials also provide different teacher instructional strategies for supporting students. The research focuses on how the book and accompanying professional development impact teachers' beliefs, pedagogical content knowledge and classroom practice.

Instructional Leadership for Scientific Practices: Resources for Principals in Evaluating and Supporting Teachers' Science Instruction

Katherine McNeill, Boston College (BC)
This project will research the knowledge and supervision skills principals' and other instructional leaders' need to support teachers in successfully integrating scientific practices into their instruction, and develop innovative resources to support these leaders with a particular focus on high-minority, urban schools. The project will contribute to the emerging but limited literature on instructional leadership in science at the K-8 school level. 

Bridging the Gap Between High School and College Physics: An Exploratory Study

Cary Sneider, Boston Latin School , Portland State University (PSU)
This project will bring together two promising innovations: a high school course entitled Energizing Physics and the BEAR assessment system. The goal of this study is to develop and test a formative assessment system for Energizing Physics that has the potential to enable all students to learn physics, so they can succeed in college.

The Challenge of Interdisciplinary Education: Math-Bio

Fred Roberts, Boston University (BU), Colorado State University (CSU), Rutgers University (RU)
This project continues research and development work on high school instructional materials that integrate biology, computing, and mathematics. The project goal is to develop and test a one-semester high school course. The course consists of some modules developed under a previous NSF grant as well as some new material. Intended deliverables include up to five new instructional modules and a coherent one-semester course suitable for the increasing state requirements for a fourth year of mathematics.

Assessing Secondary Teachers' Algebraic Habits of Mind (Collaborative Research: Stevens)

Glenn Stevens, Boston University (BU), Trustees of Boston University
This collaborative project is developing instruments to assess secondary teachers' Mathematical Habits of Mind (MHoM). These habits bring parsimony, focus, and coherence to teachers' mathematical thinking and, in turn, to their work with students. This work fits into a larger research agenda with the ultimate goal of understanding the connections between secondary teachers' mathematical knowledge for teaching and secondary students' mathematical understanding and achievement.

Planting Science Research in Education

Claire Hemingway, Botanical Society of America (BSA)
This project is implementing a program of professional development for teachers and web interface that links scientists with urban classrooms. Scientist mentors work with students and teachers through the web to carry out an original "authentic" inquiry project in plant science. The classroom intervention involves high school biology students working in assigned teams to generate their own research questions in plant science centered on core biology concepts from the National Science Education Standards.

PlantingScience: Digging Deeper Together - A Model for Collaborative Teacher/Scientist Professional Development

Catrina Adams, Botanical Society of America (BSA)
This project will design, develop, and test a new professional development (PD) model for high school biology teachers that focuses on plant biology, an area of biology that teachers feel less prepared to teach. The new PD model will bring teachers and scientists together, in-person and online, to guide students in conducting authentic science investigations and to reflect on instructional practices and student learning.

Improving Science Learning in Inquiry-based Programs (Collaborative Research: Ward)

Wayne Ward, Boulder Language Technologies
This project improves science learning by students who are not achieving their potential in high quality inquiry-based programs. The project aims to achieve its goal by developing a computer program, My Science Tutor, which students will use immediately following classroom science investigations to reinforce and extend concepts embedded in the investigations. The program uses a lifelike animated character to engage students in guided learning activities and conversational tutorial dialogs that stimulate scientific reasoning.

Leveraging MIPOs: Developing a Theory of Productive Use of Student Mathematical Thinking (Collaborative Research: Leatham)

Keith Leatham, Brigham Young University (BYU)
The core research questions of the project are: (1) What is the nature of high-leverage student thinking that teachers have available to them in their classrooms? (2) How do teachers use student thinking during instruction and what goals, orientations and resources underlie that use? (3) What is the learning trajectory for the teaching practice of productively using student thinking? and (4) What supports can be provided to move teachers along that learning trajectory?

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.

Learning Mathematics of the City in the City

Laurie Rubel, Brooklyn College, CUNY
This project is developing teaching modules that engage high school students in learning and using mathematics. Using geo-spatial technologies, students explore their city with the purpose of collecting data they bring back to the formal classroom and use as part of their mathematics lessons. This place-based orientation helps students connect their everyday and school mathematical thinking. Researchers are investigating the impact of place-based learning on students' attitudes, beliefs, and self-concepts about mathematics in urban schools.

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

Betina Zolkower, Brooklyn College, CUNY, Adelphi University
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.

Pre-K Early Algebra Through Quantitative Reasoning (PreKEA)

Barbara Dougherty, California State University, Chico
This project is initiating an innovative approach to pre-K students' development of quantitative reasoning through measurement. This quantitative approach builds on measurement concepts and algebraic design of the pre-numeric stage of instruction found in the Elkonin-Davydov (E-D) elementary mathematics curriculum from Russia. The project team is adapting and refocusing the conceptual framework and learning tasks of the E-D pre-numeric stage for use with four-year-olds.

Next Gen Alliance for Science Education Toolkit

Rachelle DiStefano, California State University, East Bay
This project will research the development and application of new Next Generation curriculum exemplars for middle school science that align with the expectations of NGSS by (1) constructing diagnostic tools to assess the alignment of curricula; (2) using the tool for existing curricula in order to field test it; and (3) systematically investigating the effectiveness of the tool.

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