Joan Walker


Vanderbilt University

This project will promote pre-K teachers' use of specific teaching strategies that have been shown to enhance young children's learning and social skills. To enhance teachers' use of these practices, the project will develop a new practitioner-friendly version of the Classroom Quality Real-time Empirically-based Feedback (CQ-REF) tool for instructional coaches who work with pre-K teachers. The CQ-REF tool will guide coaches' ability to observe specific teacher practices in their classrooms and then provide feedback to help teachers evaluate their practices and set goals for improvement, addressing the need for accessible, real-time feedback on high quality pre-K classroom teaching.

Queens College, CUNY

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.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC Chapel Hill)

This Rapid Response Research (RAPID) project is an exploratory mixed methods study investigating the impact of vulnerability and resilience in the recovery of North Carolina schools affected by both Hurricanes Florence (2018) and Matthew (2016). Specifically, the study assesses whether schools that were impacted by both storms used organizational learning strategies to recover faster than schools that were impacted by either Hurricane Florence or Matthew alone.

Harvard University

This project will develop a modified virtual world and accompanying curriculum for middle school students to help them learn to more deeply understand ecosystems patterns and the strengths and limitations of experimentation in ecosystems science. The project will build upon a computer world called EcoMUVE, a Multi-User Virtual Environment or MUVE, and will develop ways for students to conduct experiments within the virtual world and to see the results of those experiments.

University of Toledo (UT)

Building on successful prior work, this project simultaneously targets young children's teachers and families/caregivers in an effort to build both parties' capacity to promote student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning. The project aims to: 1) Transform early childhood science teaching based upon Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to measurably increase student science, literacy, and math achievement, and 2) Engage families of PreK-3 students in science inquiry practices to measurably improve student science, literacy, and math achievement.

Ohio Northern University

This project will develop curricular activities and assessment guidance for K-12 science and engineering educators who seek to incorporate engineering design content into their biology, chemistry, and physics classes.

TERC, Inc.

This project supports the expansion of an interactive, online STEM Videohall where hundreds of NSF-funded researchers share their work through brief video narratives and interactive discussion.


This project will adapt an effective in-person teacher professional development model to an online approach. A defining feature of the Science Teachers Learning from Lesson Analysis (STeLLA) Professional Development program is its use of videos of classroom instruction and examples of student work to promote teacher learning. Adapting the STeLLA program to an online learning model can reach a broader and more diverse audience, such as teachers working in rural school districts and underserved communities.