This project creates eight half-year units in two subject areas—Force and Motion, and Energy Systems— for three grade bands, pre-K–1, 2-3 and 4–6. These projects integrate engineering, science, math literacy and art in the context of design, construction and testing of toys using inexpensive or recycled materials.
The goals of the project are to develop and support the use of materials that promote integration of engineering with science, math, literacy and art in the elementary grades. Children engage in designing, making and testing their own devices. These include cardboard mechanisms that animate stories; paper pop-ups; gravity-, elastic- and electric-powered cars, and gadgets with hidden switches that produce light, sound and/or motion when opened or closed. Through these activities, students develop facility with materials, plus an understanding of systems, models, design, constraints, redesign and troubleshooting, which are core concepts in engineering education. Physics concepts include motion, force and energy. Writing is an essential component of the project, and of science education generally.
There are eight curriculum units in two sets of four each, under the headings of Force & Motion and Energy Systems. Each set consists of one unit each for grades K-1 and 2-3, and two units for 4-5. Classroom sets for the units cost between $100 and $300 apiece, and many of the materials can be acquired by recycling instead of purchase. As part of the Energy Systems Curriculum, students create gravity-powered cars in the K-1 unit Invent-a-Wheel, wind-up vehicles in the 2nd-3rd grade unit Fantastic Elastic, and electric cars in 4th and 5th grades in the EnerJeeps unit. In the course of this work students write their own equipment lists, instruction manuals, trouble-shooting guides and analyses of how their devices work. The analysis leads directly to basic concepts of physical science. When students operate their wind-ups, for example, they experience the use of their own power to store energy in a rubber band, and witness its release as kinetic energy when they let it go.
CADRE is the resource network that supports researchers and developers who participate in DR K-12 projects on teaching and learning in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. CADRE works with projects to strengthen and share methods, findings, results and products, helping to build collaboration around a strong portfolio of STEM education resources, models and technologies. CADRE raises external audiences’ awareness and understanding of the DR K-12 program, and builds new knowledge.
This project from the Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education (CADRE) will provide assistance to Discovery Research K-12 (DRK-12) projects in national dissemination of the R&D contributions of the DRK-12 program. This project will strengthen the capacity, advance the research, and amplify the impact of DRK-12 projects and researchers working in the assessment, learning, and teaching strands. Through this effort, CADRE will advance the goals of the DRK-12 program in preK-12 formal STEM education by responding to the continuing need for communication, collaboration, and innovations among DRK-12 awardees and between awardees and the education system.
CADRE's goals to strengthen the capacity, advance the research, and amplify the influence of over 300 active DRK-12 projects and associated researchers are designed to contribute to improvements in preK-12 STEM education. During this project, CADRE will continue its work in three main areas: (1) supporting the DRK-12 community, (2) connecting awardees in support of knowledge generation, and (3) connecting to the larger community of education research, policy, and practice. CADRE seeks to bring together (virtually and in-person) diverse audiences to contribute to and benefit from the work of DRK-12 projects, thereby further increasing engagement in evidence-based education in the STEM disciplines. CADRE will work to ensure that the knowledge and products produced by and with DRK-12 projects are broadly accessible to a varied group of stakeholders. CADRE will disseminate the research, models, resources, and technologies--both within the program and outside--to the broader education practitioner, research, and policymaking communities. In addition, the CADRE Fellows program will support next generation of scholars and increase the capacity of a diverse group of researchers to participate in and contribute to improving education in the STEM disciplines.
CADRE has been funded since 2008 to carry out this work. Learn more about our previous awards:
Award # 1743807 (2017-18)
Staff: Catherine McCulloch, Principal Investigator; Amy Busey, Co-Principal Investigator; Leana Nordstrom, Project Manager/Director; Derek Riley, Evaluator; Jennifer Stiles, Project Coordinator
Program Director: Robert Ochsendorf
This award extended and enhanced the resource center (titled the Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education, or CADRE) for the DRK-12 program. CADRE 2018 strengthened the network's virtual presence in order to (a) generate and disseminate knowledge and products that support research, policy, and practice around key issues in STEM education; (b) foster interaction and collaboration across projects to maximize the individual and collective potential of DRK-12 awards; (c) offer targeted professional development activities and resources that support early career researchers and developers; and (d) provide focused outreach and dissemination efforts to the DRK-12 community, other networks, and broader stakeholder audiences.
CADRE brought together (virtually and in-person) diverse audiences to contribute to and benefit from the work of DRK-12 projects, thereby further increasing engagement in evidence-based STEM education. These efforts included interactive webinars, conference presentations, and the 2018 PI Meeting. CADRE also worked closely with two topical groups to advance DRK-12 work on early learning and broadening participation in STEM education. This award expanded upon previous work to support the professional growth of doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, and other early career researchers, with a focus on broadening participation of individuals underrepresented in STEM. In addition, CADRE worked with awardees to disseminate research, models, resources, and technologies to the broader education practitioner, research, and policymaking communities.
Award # 1650648 (2016-17)
Staff: Catherine McCulloch, Principal Investigator; Amy Busey, Research Associate; Leana Nordstrom, Project Associate; Derek Riley, Evaluator; Jennifer Stiles, Project Coordinator
Program Director: David Campbell
This award extended and enhanced the resource center (titled the Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education, or CADRE) for the DRK-12 program. The multi-faceted approach of CADRE 2017 strengthened the network's virtual presence in order to (a) generate and disseminate knowledge and products that support research, policy, and practice around key issues in STEM education; (b) foster interaction and collaboration across projects to maximize the individual and collective potential of DRK-12 awards; (c) offer targeted professional development activities and resources that support early career researchers and developers; and (d) provide focused outreach and dissemination efforts to the DRK-12 community, other networks, and broader stakeholder audiences. The evaluation supported continuous improvement of the network's design and seeks to identify components that have promise for adaptation in future endeavors and by other networks.
Through a variety of online curated resources and interactive events, the project advanced topics of relevance and importance to the DRK-12 community, the National Science Foundation, and society; supported interaction and collaboration among DRK-12 awardees; and facilitated DRK-12 awardee engagement with policy and practice communities. Informed by their expressed interests and needs, this award expanded upon previous work to support the professional growth of early career researchers and developers, with a focus on broadening participation of individuals underrepresented in STEM. The network supported knowledge generation, synthesis, and dissemination with a lens on DRK-12 resources, materials, and tools within and external to the research and development community. The network also contributed to the knowledge base on the design and implementation of networks intending to support knowledge management and collaboration.
Award # 1449550 (2014-16)
Staff: Catherine McCulloch, Principal Investigator; Barbara Berns, Former Principal Investigator; Amy Busey, Research Associate; Leana Nordstrom, Project Associate; Derek Riley, Evaluator; Jennifer Stiles, Project Coordinator; Brenda Turnbull, Evaluator
Program Director: Karen King
This award continued and enhanced the resource center (titled the Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education, or CADRE) for the Discovery Research K-12 program. The project built on the experience and expertise that evolved over six years in the development and implementation of CADRE. With this award, CADRE2 worked to maximize the individual and collective potential of DRK-12 awards by fostering collaboration and cross-sharing, and promoting the generation of new knowledge and products. CADRE2 provided technical support to the awardees through communities of practice, a strong virtual presence, and an annual PI meeting; professional growth opportunities targeted particularly to early career researchers and developers; and aggressive outreach and dissemination to the DRK-12 community and beyond. CADRE2 established connections with other networks to leverage each other's strengths and services. This award also focused on support for early career researchers and developers, looking at interests and needs for professional growth. The network also contributed to the knowledge base on capacity building, and provide a lens on dissemination of DRK-12 resources, materials, and tools within and external to the research and development community. The evaluation focused on components that have promise for adaptation by future endeavors and by other networks.
Award # 0822241 (2008-16)
Staff: Barbara Berns, Principal Investigator; Amy Busey, Research Associate; E. Paul Goldenberg, Co-Principal Investigator; Lisa Marco-Bujosa, Research Associate; Alina Martinez, Co-Principal Investigator; Catherine McCulloch, Co-Principal Investigator;Jacqueline Miller, Co-Principal Investigator; Hadley Moore, Evaluator;Leana Nordstrom, Project Associate; Andrea Palmiter, Support Staff; Derek Riley, Discipline Specialist;Greta Shultz, Evaluator; Brenda Turnbull; Discipline Specialist
Program Director: Elizabeth Vanderputten
CADRE carried out the following activities: (a) portfolio assessment to define the projects in terms of composition and major characteristics and identify project needs; (b) synthesis studies to capture a comprehensive view of the portfolio in order to understand the role that the program plays in advancing K-12 student and teacher learning; (c) individual technical support services to project leadership to enhance the rigor of projects; (d) multiple strategies for in-person and virtual technical support and group consultation to PIs based on the principles of commuties of practice; (e) Principal Investigators (PI) meetings, and (f) assistance in disseminating the DRK-12 projects' results and products within the program and throughout the STEM education community.
2019 STEM for All Video Showcase
|Title: Broadening Participation in PreK-12 STEM Education
Presenter(s): Catherine McCulloch, Malcolm Butler, Cory Buxton, Salvador Huitzilopochtli, Leanne Ketterlin Geller, & Arthur Powell
2018 STEM for All Video Showcase
|Title: The Impact of Education Research
Presenter(s): Catherine McCulloch, Hilda Borko, Amy Busey, & Christine Cunningham
This project uses Antarctic pack-ice penguins to hook students into exploring how science investigates changes in Earths biota and climate. The project builds on a pilot effort, called Penguin Science, and will develop PowerPoint presentations, short video \"webisodes,\" background reading material, and live and interactive website components to engage students in ongoing field research. Students, K-14, will be involved in climate-change research that will include ecology, sedimentology, paleontology, glaciology and oceanography.
This five-year research project has as its central aim the testing of the Target Inquiry (TI) model of teacher professional development with secondary school chemistry teachers. This model emphasizes the importance of the inquiry process in teaching and learning science by combining a research experience for teachers (RET) with curriculum adaptation and action research.
Inquiry is the foundation of teaching and learning and is therefore at the center of the TI model. The features of the TI model are designed to encourage and improve inquiry instruction by impacting teachers’ beliefs and attitudes, and content and pedagogical knowledge, as well as providing adequate resources and materials. The model integrates the core experiences (research experience for teachers (RET), materials adaptation, action research) with the central characteristics of high-quality PD programs (duration, cohort participation, active learning, coherence, and content-focus (Garet, et al., 2001)) in alignment with the National Science Education Professional Development Standards (NRC, 1996) (see TI model on website).
Although many teachers associate inquiry with research scientists, the underlying habits of mind by which one actively acquires new knowledge are the same for a scientist in a research laboratory, a student in a science classroom, or a teacher assessing student understanding (Llewellyn, 2005; AAAS, 1993). The RET will allow teachers to further develop habits of mind central to inquiry such as curiosity, persistence, reflection, skepticism, and creativity while gaining firsthand experience in how chemistry research is conducted. However, research has shown that affecting instructional change requires clear connections to classroom practices (Gess-Newsome, 2001), and many teachers have difficulty translating the laboratory research experience to classroom instruction that promotes inquiry habits of mind. Thus, the other core experiences and supporting features of TI are designed to build upon the RET, facilitating connections between the research laboratory and classroom practices, so that teachers can effectively engage their students in authentic inquiry activities.
At GVSU, the TI model has been translated into seven graduate chemistry education courses to be taken over three years, with a majority of work to be carried out over three summers. A five year study of the program, consisting of data from two cohorts shows that teachers beliefs about science inquiry become more aligned with those of practicing scientists following the RET experience; both the RET and materials adaptation experiences are required for significant gains in reformed teaching practices as measured by the RTOP instrument; teachers feel they have developed the skills to help them continue to reform their teaching practices; teachers believe that the use of inquiry instruction engages more of their students and results in better student confidence and retention; and student outcome measures show overall improvement in student content gains as teachers progress through the program.