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

Zydeco: A Mobile "Nomadic Inquiry" System to Support and Bridge Science Inquiry Between Classroom and Museum Contexts

Chris Quintana, University of Michigan (UM)
08/01/2010
This project will explore how new mobile and web-based technologies can support content-rich nomadic inquiry; that is, science inquiry that takes place on-the-go, across integrated K-12 formal and informal settings. Students will begin the inquiry process in the classroom using curricular activities and the Zydeco web software developed in the project to help define goals and questions and to design data collection strategies and categories for use on a field trip to an informal setting.

Zoombinis: The Full Development Implementation Research Study of a Computational Thinking Game for Upper Elementary and Middle School Learners

Jodi Asbell-Clarke, TERC, Inc.
07/15/2015
This project leverages an existing game by embedding tools for studying patterns of students' decision-making and problem solving in the environment. This allows researchers to understand how students learn about computational thinking within a tool that bridges informal and formal learning settings to engage a wide variety of students. The project will also develop tools and resources for classroom teachers.

Zoom In! Learning Science with Data

William Tally, Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC)
09/15/2016
This project will address the need for high quality evidence-based models, practices, and tools for high school teachers and the development of students' problem solving and analytical skills by leveraging novel research and design approaches using digital tools and two well-established online instructional platforms: Zoom In and Common Online Data Analysis Platform.            

Youth-based Program Impact on Education and Career Choices: An Exploration of Issues in Planning and Implementing Longitudinal Research

Robert Tai, University of Virginia (UVA)
11/01/2007
This grant explores the timely issue of how to conduct a feasibility study on the question of whether youths who participate in after-school IT-oriented science-engagement programs are more likely to eventually choose a STEM-related career. This project examines programs such as Information Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) along with other similar programs to determine innovative approaches to conducting such a long-term study so that it is methodologically sound and as economical as possible.

Worldviews of Exemplary African-American Science Teachers (WEAST)

Linda Coats, Mississippi State University (MSU)
09/01/2007
Mississippi State University is identifying characteristics of exemplary African American elementary science teachers and examining the role of mentoring on beginning elementary science teachers and their students.

Workshop on Materials Science and Materials Engineering Education - Educating the Enablers of Tomorrow's Technologies

Robert Hamers, University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison)
07/15/2008
This project provides support for a two-day workshop that would bring about 60 participants together to discuss the issues, challenges and opportunities in "Materials Education" and devise strategies for synergizing all stakeholders involved for further progress. Discussions will be focused on 4 topics: (1) Educating the public about the relevance of materials research; (2) Materials education for K-12 students and teachers; (3) Revolutionizing undergraduate education toward flexible curriculum; (4) Materials education for graduate students.

Workshop on Assessment of 21st Century Skills

Stuart Elliott, National Academy of Sciences (NAS)
01/15/2010
This project will hold a two-day workshop on assessing 21st century skills building on two previous workshops. The previous workshops expressed the need for assessments that can measure the attainment of 21st century skills. This workshop is to describe research on assessment of 21st century skills to inform policies and practices.

Working with Middle School Science Teachers to Design and Implement an Interactive Data Dashboard

Virginia Snodgrass Rangel, William Marsh Rice University
08/01/2014
This project will work with middle school science teachers to design and evaluate a set of data management tools that will be embedded in a web-based science curriculum. The project helps middle school science teachers monitor their students' progress, plan lessons, and reflect on their lessons. This project will identify characteristics of data management tools that are more likely to be used effectively by teachers and have a positive impact...

When Science and Literacy Meet: Creating Support for Teachers Implementing Writing in the Science Classroom

Brian Hand, University of Iowa (UI)
09/01/2005
This project proposes to create two books and a professional development manual about the roles and practice of writing-to-learn strategies in science classrooms. The books will emphasize the importance of purposeful writing as a learning tool. The first book will target K-6 teachers and the second will address the needs of 7-12 teachers.

What Influences Teachers' Modifications of Curriculum?

David Hammer, University of Maryland (UMD)
06/01/2005
This project is based on the assumption that teachers often make modifications to curriculum; reordering, skipping or adding lessons, changing an "exploration" into a lecture, and so on. This project pursues three related questions: What types of modifications do teachers make (and why), which types of modifications best help students learn, and how do teachers' modifications change in response to professional development activities designed to help them become more attuned to students' thinking?

WeInvestigate: Collaborative Exploration of Scientific Phenomena with the Assistance of Hand-Held Simulations, Prose, and Graphics

Annemarie Palincsar, University of Michigan (UM)
08/01/2013
This project aims to assist in the development and study of WeInvestigate, an application that will run on a mobile device. The application will help support learners as they engage in artifact construction using multiple media while two or more learners can be synchronously collaborating either face-to-face or at a distance. WeInvestigate is leveraging the research that learning in collaboration with others associated...

Visualizing to Integrate Science Understanding for All Learners (VISUAL)

Marcia Linn, University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)
09/01/2009
This project is exploring how curricula and assessment using dynamic, interactive scientific visualizations of complex phenomena can ensure that all students learn significant science content. Dynamic visualizations provide an alternative pathway for students to understand science concepts, which can be exploited to increase the accessibility of a range of important science concepts. Computer technologies offer unprecedented opportunities to design curricula and assessments using visual technologies and to explore them in research, teaching, and learning.

Visual Modeling Strategies In Science Teaching

John Clement, University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst)
08/15/2007
This project aims to find principles of instruction for developing students' visual models in science, including design principles for curriculum development, technological tools, and new pedagogical principles. The project concentrates on methods teachers use to guide class discussions while using innovative model-based curricula in middle school biology and in high school physical science.

Visual Access to Mathematics: Professional Development for Teachers of English Learners

Mark Driscoll, Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC)
08/01/2015
This project addresses a critical need, developing professional development materials to address the teachers of ELLs. The project will create resources to help teachers build ELLs' mathematical proficiency through the design and development of professional development materials building on visual representations (VRs) for mathematical reasoning across a range of mathematical topics.

Virtual Learning Communities: An Online Professional Development Resource for STEM Teachers

Meg Schleppenbach Bates, University of Chicago (U of C)
07/15/2010
This project will design, develop, and test a virtual learning community (VLC) to enhance the ability of first- and fourth-grade teachers to provide mathematics education. The goal is to produce a prototype of a VLC for first- and fourth-grade Everyday Mathematics teachers that integrates three primary elements: (a) learning objects rooted in practice, such as lesson video, (b) community-building tools offered by the internet, and (c) focused content that drives teachers' professional learning in mathematics.

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)
08/01/2012
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.

Videocases for Science Teaching Analysis (ViSTA)

Kathleen Roth, LessonLab, Inc.
05/01/2004
This project develops video-case modules for use in pre-service teacher preparation programs. Modules 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 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.

Video Interactions for Teaching and Learning (VITAL): A Learning Environment for Courses in Early Childhood Mathematics Education

Frank Moretti, Columbia University
06/01/2004
This project enhances and expands video-based instruction to help prospective and practicing teachers analyze the development of children's mathematical thinking. It trains teachers to: (a) understand from a cognitive developmental psychology perspective how children learn and think about mathematics; (b) assess children's mathematical knowledge and plan instructional activities accordingly; (c) develop an evidence-based understanding of effective and developmentally appropriate teaching methods and curricula; and (d) develop a basic understanding of key mathematical concepts.

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

Kathleen Roth, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, Inc. (BSCS)
08/01/2009
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.

Validation and Refinement of a Model for Teacher Professional Development that Leverages a Major Applied Research Laboratory

Jamal Abedi, University of California, Davis (UC Davis)
08/15/2007
This project focuses on the assessed impact of a teacher professional development (TPD) program around the applied sciences. Specifically, researchers seek to examine the measurable impact of an established teacher professional development program currently offered through the UC Davis Edward Teller Education Center. The Center delivers teacher training and curricula and draws upon an instructor cohort that pairs a regional master teacher and relevant LLNL scientists in curriculum development and delivery.

Using Rule Space and Poset-Based Adaptive Testing Methodologies to Identify Ability Patterns in Early Mathematics and Create a Comprehensive Mathematics Ability Test

Douglas Clements, University of Denver (DU)
09/01/2012
This project will develop a new assessment for children ages 3-7 to provide teachers with diagnostic information on a child's development of mathematics facility on ten domains such as counting, sequencing, adding/subtracting, and measurement. The Comprehensive Research-based Mathematics Ability (CREMAT) is being developed using innovative psychometric models to reveal information about children on specific attributes for each of the 10 domains.

Using Routines as an Instructional Tool for Developing Students' Conceptions of Proof

Susan Jo Russell, TERC, Inc.
09/01/2010
This project will develop and systematically investigate a teaching model to assist teachers in developing ideas about proof in grades 2-5. The teaching model provides both a tool for learning on the part of elementary teachers and a model of practice from which they can learn as they implement it.

Using Research-Based Formative Assessment to Improve Mathematics Teaching and Learning

Jonathan Supovitz, University of Pennsylvania (Penn)
01/01/2014
This project provides professional development and support for teachers of mathematics in Grades 3-5 and assesses the impacts of the project through a rigorous cluster randomized control trial. The project supports teachers to provide instruction that helps all students reach ambitious academic goals in mathematics.

Using Research to Target Title I Needs in Mathematics

Kichoon Yang, National Title I Association , National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
08/15/2009
This project is producing research syntheses that summarize and make available to practitioners results from research on effective mathematics curricular interventions, teaching practices, and teacher professional development that have been designed to improve achievement by students in Title 1 programs. The project’s goal is to bring together the best resources in both mathematics education and Title I so that programs are better able to serve the mathematical learning and instructional needs of Title I schools.

Using Practice as a Site to Learning Mathematics for Teaching: Developing Materials, Approaches and Professional Community

Hyman Bass, University of Michigan (UM)
08/01/2005
This project is designed to build resources for helping teachers learn mathematical content in ways usable for the work of teaching. Two practice-centered packages will be developed for use in the professional education of K-8 teachers of mathematics. The packages will be usable by the existing range of teacher developers. Each package will comprise selections of records of practice and resources for their use with teachers.

Using PISA to Develop Activities for Teacher Education (UPDATE)

Edward Silver, University of Michigan (UM)
09/01/2010
This project uses items and data from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) to develop two kinds of resources for preparation and professional development of secondary mathematics teachers: one in the form of prototype professional learning materials and a second in the form of PISA-based, research-grounded articles written for mathematics teachers and teacher educators. Work on both resources will focus on algebra and quantitative literacy and on factors influencing educational equity.

Using Math Pathways and Pitfalls to Promote Algebra Readiness

Jodi Davenport, WestEd
10/01/2013
This project that creates a set of materials for middle grades students and teacher professional development that would support the learning of early algebra. Building on their prior work with an elementary version, the efficacy study focuses on the implementation of the principals underlying the materials, fidelity of use of the materials, and impact on students' learning.

Using Cognitive Science Principles to Help Children Learn Place Value (Collaborative Research: Smith)

Linda Smith, Indiana University (IU)
09/01/2016
This project will test new instructional approaches designed to help K-1 students comprehend place value. The project will emphasize the underlying relational structure of place value symbols, and target this structure with instructional materials and techniques drawn from the structure mapping literature. Its theory of action is that instruction which scaffolds structure mapping for place value will better prepare children to face the challenges of advanced operations, such as multi-digit calculation.

Using Cognitive Science Principles to Help Children Learn Place Value (Collaborative Research: Mix)

Kelly Mix, Michigan State University (MSU)
09/01/2016
This project will test new instructional approaches designed to help K-1 students comprehend place value. The project will emphasize the underlying relational structure of place value symbols, and target this structure with instructional materials and techniques drawn from the structure mapping literature. Its theory of action is that instruction which scaffolds structure mapping for place value will better prepare children to face the challenges of advanced operations, such as multi-digit calculation.

Urban Ecology Course Materials Created with a Universal Design for Learning Framework

Eric Strauss, Loyola Marymount University (LMU)
10/01/2010
The Lynch School of Education and the Urban Ecology Institute at Boston College are partnering with the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) to develop, test, evaluate and disseminate a year-long set of urban ecology course materials for use in high school-level capstone science courses. The standards-based materials emphasize locally-relevant field studies and incorporate principles of Universal Design for Learning and Educative Curriculum.

Untangling Mathematical KnoTSS (Knowledge for Teaching Secondary School): An Investigation of Collaborations Between Mathematicians and Mathematics Educators

Rebecca McGraw, University of Arizona (U of A)
09/01/2008
This project examines the nature and process of collaborations between mathematicians and mathematics teacher educators engaged in the preparation of secondary mathematics teachers. KnoTSS participants are teams of mathematicians and educators who co-teach two courses (one mathematics course and one methods of teaching mathematics course) aimed at building integrated knowledge of content and pedagogy.

Universal Design of Inquiry-based Middle and High School Science Curricula (Collaborative Research: Sutherland)

LeeAnn Sutherland, Center for Applied Special Technology, Inc. (CAST), University of Michigan (UM)
09/15/2007
This project is developing and testing digital versions of science materials for middle school and high school. Project partners are creating guidelines for universally designed materials; building an open-source authoring tool (Inquiry Science System,ISS) that enables transformation of science curricula into digitally supported versions incorporating UDL features; using the ISS to produce exemplars of units from tested instructional materials, and evaluating the benefits of these exemplars for students with and without learning disabilities.

Universal Design of Inquiry-based Middle and High School Science Curricula (Collaborative Research: Rose)

David Rose, Center for Applied Special Technology, Inc. (CAST)
09/15/2007
CAST, the University of Michigan, and EDC are collaborating to create heuristics for universally designed middle and high school science materials; to build an open-source UDL Inquiry Science System (ISS) that enables science curricula to be transformed into digitally supported versions that incorporate UDL features, to use the ISS to produce four UDL exemplars from tested instructional materials, and to evaluate the benefits of these exemplars for grades-5–12 students with and without learning disabilities.

Universal Design of Inquiry-based Middle and High School Science Curricula (Collaborative Research: Foster)

June Foster, Center for Applied Special Technology, Inc. (CAST), University of Michigan (UM), Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC)
09/15/2007
This project is developing and testing comprehensive science curricula for the middle school and high school. Project partners are creating heuristics for universally designed materials; building an open source UDL Inquiry Science System (ISS) that enables science curricula to be transformed into digitally supported versions incorporating UDL features; and using the ISS to produce exemplars of units from tested instructional materials and evaluate the benefits of these exemplars for students with and without learning disabilities.

Universal BEATS: Universal BioMusic Education Achievement Tier in Science

Patricia Gray, University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNC Greensboro)
01/01/2008
UNCG and NCSU are developing instructional resources for grades-2–5 students that infuse cutting-edge content from the emerging field of biomusic into standards-based elementary science and music curricula. The approach uses the musical sounds of nature to help students learn concepts in biology, physical science, and anthropology. Curriculum is undergoing beta-testing across North Carolina in diverse school settings.

Unifying Life: Placing Urban Tree Diversity in an Evolutionary Context

Yael Wyner, The City College of New York, CUNY
07/15/2012
This 3-year project seeks to develop and test curricular resources built around handheld mobile technology to study how these materials foster urban middle school student engagement with and learning of local biodiversity and the patterns of evolution.

Understanding the Role of Contextual Effects in STEM Pursuit and Persistence: A Synthesis Approach

Michael Gottfried, University of California, Santa Barbara
09/01/2014
This synthesis project will inform educators and policymakers about the cumulative evidence that exists on the impacts of a variety of contextual factors on a multitude of STEM outcomes (e.g., math and science achievement, self-efficacy, future goals). This project will provide new evidence regarding the significance of youth contexts on STEM outcomes that will assist policy makers and educators in evaluating productive educational environments.

Understanding Space Through Engineering Design

Richard Lehrer, Vanderbilt University
09/01/2013
Understanding Space Through Engineering Design investigates how engaging K-5 children from underrepresented populations in the design of packages, maps, and mechanisms supports the development of spatial reasoning and spatial mathematics. The prime conjecture is that engineering design makes spatial mathematics more tangible and purposeful, and that systematic support for spatial reasoning and mathematics, in turn, influences the nature of children's designs and their understanding of how those designs work.

Understanding Science - Improving Achievement of Middle School Students Through Content-rich Professional Development Grounded in Classroom Practice

Steven Schneider, WestEd
07/01/2005
This project is producing two professional development modules for middle school science teachers, one on Force and Motion (emphasizing teaching English learners) and the second on Energy and Chemical Change (emphasizing the integration of literacy). Guides for staff developers will accompany the resources.

Understanding Ebola Virus Disease

Mark Bloom, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, Inc. (BSCS)
02/01/2015
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. 

Understanding and Improving Learning from Online Mathematics Classroom Videos

Michelle Perry, University of Chicago (U of C), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
08/15/2016
The purpose of this project is to investigate issues in the design and implementation of effective virtual learning communities (VLCs) for teachers and to examine the relation between teachers' reflective engagement with VLCs and their students' mathematics learning outcomes. Findings from this project will be used to build and share effective ways to support teacher learning online.

Undergraduate Science Course Reform Serving Pre-service Teachers: Evaluation of a Faculty Professional Development Model

Dennis Sunal, University of Alabama (UA)
08/01/2006
This project focuses on critical needs in the preparation and long-term development of pre-service, undergraduate, K-6 teachers of science. The project investigates the impact on these students of undergraduate, standards-based, reform entry level science courses developed by faculty based on their participation in the NASA Opportunities for Visionary Academics processional development program to identify: short-term impacts on undergraduate students and long-term effects on graduated teachers; characteristics of reform courses and characteristics of effective development efforts.

Undergraduate Biology Education Research Program

Julie Stanton, University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc. (UGARF)
09/01/2013
The goals of this nine-week summer program are to develop undergraduates' knowledge and skills in biology education research, encourage undergraduates to pursue doctoral study of biology teaching and learning, expand the diversity of the talent pool in biology education research, strengthen and expand collaborations among faculty and students in education and life sciences, and contribute to the development of theory and knowledge about biology education in ways that...

U.S. National Commission for Mathematics Instruction -- A Conference Grant

Ana Ferreras, National Academy of Sciences (NAS)
03/15/2007
This project will include activities such as workshops, conferences and symposia designed to further develop the field of mathematics instruction both nationally and internationally. Specifically, the grant will support (1) a workshop on Chinese and U.S. teacher preparation; (2) a workshop on international comparative assessments in mathematics; and (3) a workshop on challenges in non-university Tertiary Mathematics Education.

TRUmath and Lesson Study: Supporting Fundamental and Sustainable Improvement in High School Mathematics Teaching (Collaborative Research: Schoenfeld)

Alan Schoenfeld, University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)
07/01/2015
Given the changes in instructional practices needed to support high quality mathematics teaching and learning based on college and career readiness standards, school districts need to provide professional learning opportunities for teachers that support those changes. The project is based on the TRUmath framework and will build a coherent and scalable plan for providing these opportunities in high school mathematics departments, a traditionally difficult unit of organizational change.

TRUmath and Lesson Study: Supporting Fundamental and Sustainable Improvement in High School Mathematics Teaching (Collaborative Research: Donovan)

M. Suzanne Donovan, Strategic Education Research Partnership Institute
07/01/2015
Given the changes in instructional practices needed to support high quality mathematics teaching and learning based on college and career readiness standards, school districts need to provide professional learning opportunities for teachers that support those changes. The project is based on the TRUmath framework and will build a coherent and scalable plan for providing these opportunities in high school mathematics departments, a traditionally difficult unit of organizational change.

Transition to College Mathematics and Statistics

Christian Hirsch, Western Michigan University (WMU)
09/01/2010
This project will develop a mathematics course for the fourth year of high school. The new course is being designed for students who will enter post-secondary education and will major in programs not requiring Calculus. The new course includes mathematics from a problem-solving or applications perspective, and serves as a bridge to college mathematics and statistics. Unit topics include functions, modeling, algebraic strategies, binomial distributions, and information processing.

Transition to Algebra: A Habits of Mind Approach

E. Paul Goldenberg, Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC)
09/01/2009
This research and development project provides resources for ninth-grade mathematics students and teachers by developing, piloting, and field-testing intervention modules designed as supplementary materials for Algebra 1 classes (e.g., double-period algebra). Rather than developing isolated skills and reviewing particular topics, these materials aim to foster the development of mathematical habits of mind—in particular, the algebraic habit of abstracting from calculations, a key unifying idea in the transition from arithmetic to algebra.

Transforming Teaching Through Implementing Inquiry (T2I2)

Jeremy Ernst, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), North Carolina State University (NC State)
08/01/2011
This project explores the use of cyberinfrastructure to significantly enhance the delivery and quality of professional development for grades 8-12 engineering, technology, and design educators. The goal of the project is to study whether the use of highly interactive cyberinfrastructure increases the educator's teaching competencies and how to effectively teach. Student achievement is measured by comparing state assessments in: the curriculum's technology, engineering, and design assessment, end-of-grade mathematics assessment, and end-of-grade science assessment.

Transforming STEM Competitions into Collaboratives: Developing eCrafting Collabs for Learning with Electronic Textiles

Yasmin Kafai, University of Pennsylvania (Penn)
10/01/2012
This project supports the development of technological fluency and understanding of STEM concepts through the implementation of design collaboratives that use eCrafting Collabs as the medium within which to work with middle and high school students, parents and the community. The examine how youth at ages 10-16 and families in schools, clubs, museums and community groups learn together how to create e-textile artifacts that incorporate embedded computers, sensors and actuators.

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