Elementary

Creating Inclusive PreK–12 STEM Learning Environments

Brief CoverBroadening participation in PreK–12 STEM provides ALL students with STEM learning experiences that can prepare them for civic life and the workforce.

Author/Presenter

Malcom Butler

Cory Buxton

Odis Johnson Jr.

Leanne Ketterlin-Geller

Catherine McCulloch

Natalie Nielsen

Arthur Powell

Year
2018
Short Description

This brief offers insights from National Science Foundation-supported research for education leaders and policymakers who are broadening participation in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics (STEM). Many of these insights confirm knowledge that has been reported in research literature; however, some offer a different perspective on familiar challenges.

Thinking Outside the Box of Rocks

In this article we introduce a National Science Foundation-funded research project called TecRocks that has developed new interactive simulations and an innovative online curriculum module that weaves rock formation and plate tectonics together such that secondary teachers and students can approach these two topics as integrated systems. In the 2022-23 school year, the curriculum was implemented in middle and high school classrooms across the United States.

Author/Presenter

Trudi Lord

Amy Pallant

Lead Organization(s)
Year
2023
Short Description

In this article we introduce a National Science Foundation-funded research project called TecRocks that has developed new interactive simulations and an innovative online curriculum module that weaves rock formation and plate tectonics together such that secondary teachers and students can approach these two topics as integrated systems.

How it All Happened: Cause and Effect as a Lens and Thinking Tool to Observe and Make Sense of Two Puzzling Phenomena

Mohan, L., Harris, E., & Guy-Gaytan, C. (2023). “How it all happened”: Cause and effect as a lens and thinking tool to observe and make sense of two puzzling phenomena. Science and Children, 60(7).

Author/Presenter

Lindsey Mohan

Emily Harris

Candice Guy-Gaytán

Year
2023
Short Description

This article uses cause and effect as a lens and thinking tool to observe and make sense of phenomena in elementary science.

Related Paper Set: Designing, Supporting, and Enacting Elementary Science Units for Teacher Phenomenon Adaptation

Cook Whitt, K., Harris, E., Kenyon, L., Kenyon, F. L., Hanson, A., Tate, R., Mohan, L., & Guy-Gatan, C. (2023a, April). Related Paper Set: Designing, supporting, and enacting elementary science units for teacher phenomenon adaptation. Related paper set presented at the National Association for Research in Science Teaching Annual Conference, Chicago, IL.

Author/Presenter

Kate Cook Whitt

Emily Harris

Lisa Kenyon

Leonard Kenyon

Adrienne Hanson

Rhonda Tate

Lindsey Mohan

Candice Guy-Gaytán

Year
2023
Short Description

Paper set on designing, supporting, and enacting elementary science units for teacher phenomenon adaptation from 2023 NARST conference.

Elementary Science Teacher Educators Learning Together: Catalyzing Change With Educative Curriculum Materials and Vignette Writing

In this article, we describe a professional learning community (PLC) for science teacher educators that supported changes in pedagogy through educative curriculum materials and vignette writing. The PLC was convened as part of a grant-supported project to build preservice elementary teachers’ content knowledge for matter using educative curriculum materials. PLC members collaborated with one another over an academic year to learn about and discuss implementing curricular materials in their respective science teacher education courses.

Author/Presenter

Sumreen Asim

Jeni Davis

Melanie Kinskey

Heather Lavender

Jaclyn Murray

Amanda Obery

Carrie-Anne Sherwood

Sarah Voss

Lead Organization(s)
Year
2023
Short Description

In this article, we describe a professional learning community (PLC) for science teacher educators that supported changes in pedagogy through educative curriculum materials and vignette writing.

Reasoning About Data in Elementary School: Student Strategies and Strengths when Reasoning with Multiple Variables

The need for data literacy is an increasingly pressing priority in society, but most of the work in data-centred education has focused on developing skills at the middle school, secondary, and post-secondary levels, with little attention on the potential for engaging elementary-aged students in reasoning with and about data. This paper reports findings from a foundational study to explore the natural strengths, skills, and strategies that upper elementary students bring to reasoning about data-centred problems.

Author/Presenter

Jessica Sickler

Michelle Lentzner

Lynn T. Goldsmith

Lauren Brase

Randall Kochevar

Year
2024
Short Description

The need for data literacy is an increasingly pressing priority in society, but most of the work in data-centred education has focused on developing skills at the middle school, secondary, and post-secondary levels, with little attention on the potential for engaging elementary-aged students in reasoning with and about data. This paper reports findings from a foundational study to explore the natural strengths, skills, and strategies that upper elementary students bring to reasoning about data-centred problems.

Reasoning About Data in Elementary School: Student Strategies and Strengths when Reasoning with Multiple Variables

The need for data literacy is an increasingly pressing priority in society, but most of the work in data-centred education has focused on developing skills at the middle school, secondary, and post-secondary levels, with little attention on the potential for engaging elementary-aged students in reasoning with and about data. This paper reports findings from a foundational study to explore the natural strengths, skills, and strategies that upper elementary students bring to reasoning about data-centred problems.

Author/Presenter

Jessica Sickler

Michelle Lentzner

Lynn T. Goldsmith

Lauren Brase

Randall Kochevar

Year
2024
Short Description

The need for data literacy is an increasingly pressing priority in society, but most of the work in data-centred education has focused on developing skills at the middle school, secondary, and post-secondary levels, with little attention on the potential for engaging elementary-aged students in reasoning with and about data. This paper reports findings from a foundational study to explore the natural strengths, skills, and strategies that upper elementary students bring to reasoning about data-centred problems.

Multidimensional Science Assessment: Design Challenges and Technology Affordances

Contemporary views on what students should learn increasingly emphasize that students need to acquire more than a base of knowledge; they need to acquire the skills and abilities to use such knowledge in dynamic and flexible ways. To be most effective, learning environments need assessments that are aligned to these perspectives. Using a principled design framework can help guide assessment development toward such targets. Even when using a framework, however, thorny design challenges may arise.

Author/Presenter

Brian D. Gane

Diksha Gaur

Samuel Arnold

Daniel Damelin

Lead Organization(s)
Year
2024
Short Description

In this paper, we describe three challenges (conflict between multiple dimensions of science proficiency, authentic data, and grade-appropriate graphing tools) that we faced when designing for a specific Next Generation Science Standard, and the theoretical and design principles that guided us as we ideated design solutions. Through these designs we maintained alignment to our multidimensional assessment targets, a critical component of our larger assessment validity argument.

Multidimensional Science Assessment: Design Challenges and Technology Affordances

Contemporary views on what students should learn increasingly emphasize that students need to acquire more than a base of knowledge; they need to acquire the skills and abilities to use such knowledge in dynamic and flexible ways. To be most effective, learning environments need assessments that are aligned to these perspectives. Using a principled design framework can help guide assessment development toward such targets. Even when using a framework, however, thorny design challenges may arise.

Author/Presenter

Brian D. Gane

Diksha Gaur

Samuel Arnold

Daniel Damelin

Lead Organization(s)
Year
2024
Short Description

In this paper, we describe three challenges (conflict between multiple dimensions of science proficiency, authentic data, and grade-appropriate graphing tools) that we faced when designing for a specific Next Generation Science Standard, and the theoretical and design principles that guided us as we ideated design solutions. Through these designs we maintained alignment to our multidimensional assessment targets, a critical component of our larger assessment validity argument.

Embodied, Dramatizing Performances in Science Class: Multimodal Spaces and Places of Knowledge and Identity Construction

We explored the semiotic choices children in grades 1–6 made that nurtured embodied, dramatizing performances in science classes at urban public schools, serving predominantly students of color in a large US city. We studied how such choices in school and home settings (when instruction was remote during the COVID-19 pandemic) were implicated in the children’s knowledge and identity construction and related to available resources and positionings.

Author/Presenter

Maria Varelas

Amanda R. Diaz

Rebecca Kotler

Rebecca Woodard

Ronan Rock

Zachary Sabitt

Nathan Phillips

Rachelle Tsachor

Marcie Gutierrez

Hannah Natividad

Derek Threewitt

Jaegen Ellison

Year
2024
Short Description

We explored the semiotic choices children in grades 1–6 made that nurtured embodied, dramatizing performances in science classes at urban public schools, serving predominantly students of color in a large US city. We studied how such choices in school and home settings (when instruction was remote during the COVID-19 pandemic) were implicated in the children’s knowledge and identity construction and related to available resources and positionings.