Curriculum

The Spectrum Laboratory: Towards Authentic Inquiry for All

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The Spectrum Laboratory is an online data visualization tool and associated set of investigations that supports students in learning about light, color, and the electromagnetic spectrum by working with authentic scientific spectral data. The research study investigates factors that hinder or promote students' reasoning about spectra; and to determine how the curriculum can help students to use spectra to explore interesting questions about the world while gaining fluency with a range of important science practices.

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Sensing Science through Modeling: Developing Kindergarten Students' Understanding of Matter and Its Changes

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The Sensing Science through Modeling Matter: Kindergarten Students’ Development of Understanding of Matter and Its Changes project has developed and researched a technology-enriched curriculum to support learning about matter and its changes at the kindergarten level. Traditionally, particle-based worlds are introduced in upper elementary school when children already hold incorrect ideas that are difficult to change. Early learners have significant—and highly untapped—potential for understanding abstract concepts and reasoning in sophisticated ways.

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Strengthening STEM Teaching in Native American Serving Schools through Long-Term, Culturally Responsive Professional Development

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This is a 4-year, level II Exploratory study within the teaching strand of DRK12. The research explores the functioning and impact of a nationally-developed STEM professional development model within the Navajo Nation. Teacher participants represent the entire K-12 grade range and multiple content areas, and they all participate in an innovative STEM-content, culturally responsive, 8-month professional development fellowship. We explore the extent to which culturally responsive principles are evident in their self-authored curriculum units.

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Extending and Investigating the Impact of the High School Model-based Educational Resource (Collaborative Research: Passmore and Wilson)

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We are collaborating on a project to examine the efficacy of high school biology instructional materials that support teachers' understanding and practice of model-based reasoning as an approach to support students in developing an integrated, multidimensional understanding of science. This poster summarizes our efforts to develop assessment tasks that measure students' ability to use model-based reasoning to make sense of biological phenomena and describes our use of crowdsourced adults to pilot test the tasks.

Co-PI(s): Molly Stuhlsatz, BSCS Science Learning

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Building a Teacher Knowledge Base for the Implementation of High-Quality Instructional Resources through the Collaborative Investigation of Video Cases (Collaborative Research: Murray and Wilson)

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Analyzing Instruction in Mathematics using the TRU framework (AIM-TRU) is a research-practice partnership that is investigating the pressing problem of supporting teachers in increasing their capacity to implement high-quality instructional materials in the classroom with fidelity. Drawing upon the design-based research paradigm, the partnership has worked to co-design, investigate, and iteratively form the AIM-TRU Learning Cycle, which gives teachers the opportunity to understand the materials and how they are used in the classroom through a video-based professional learning cycle.

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Getting Unstuck: Designing and Evaluating Teacher Resources to Support Conceptual and Creative Fluency with Programming

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We are studying how an online professional learning experience for K-12 computer science teachers can be adapted for use in the classroom. Our goal is to increase teachers' conceptual and creative fluency with the Scratch programming environment. In collaboration with several teachers, we further refined our online professional learning experience for summer 2020. We have also been collaboratively developing and studying educative curriculum materials that promote both teacher and student learning and development.

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Preparing Next Generation Scientists Through Teacher and Extension Science Partnerships and Schoolyard Citizen Science Investigations in Elementary Schools

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Research shows a need for professional development (PD) that builds K-5 teachers' ability to incorporate the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) science practices into the classroom and supports their implementation of reform-minded science instruction. The Schoolyard SITES research study and PD program at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) partners elementary teachers with UNH Extension science volunteers to bring locally-relevant citizen science projects to elementary students and to increase teachers’ self-efficacy teaching science.

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Integrating Science with Mathematics and Engineering: Linking Home and School Learning for All Young Learners

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This study investigates the integration of early science with mathematics and engineering and involves co-designing resources with preschool teachers and families from historically underserved communities to provide preschool children equitable STEM learning experiences. The study also explores connections between home and school learning and involves designing resources to support multilingual learners, who represent a large (and growing) proportion of the population served in public preschool programs.

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Incorporating Professional Science Writing into High School STEM Research Projects

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Description: Reading, writing, revision and even publication are integral to progressing science. Yet, these skills are not emphasized in the typical high school STEM classroom. This project investigates the experiences and outcomes of secondary students who have participated in the peer-review and publication of their STEM research projects. Overall, students report increased understanding of the role of writing and publication within science, and they express higher levels of self-efficacy, confidence and identity in STEM.
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Exploratory Evidence on the Factors that Relate to Elementary School Science Learning Gains Among English Language Learners

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This study provides evidence on the confluence of school, classroom, teacher, and student inputs that shape elementary school science learning for English learners. The study explores the relationship between (1) science inputs (time on science, content covered, availability of lab resources, teacher training in science instruction, etc.), and (2) EL-specific inputs (classroom language use, EL instructional models, teacher certification/training, availability of EL support staff, etc.) for a nationally representative set of kindergarten through fifth graders.

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