Science

Improving Prekindergarten and Elementary Science Teaching: A Synthesis of Recent DRK-12 Program Investment in This Field

This review synthesized insights from 25 NSF DRK-12 projects that studied prekindergarten (PreK) and elementary science teaching. This review covered 25 of the 27 projects funded between 2011 and 2015. We synthesized the empirical findings from interventions in four common areas: preservice PreK and elementary preparation programs, in-service teacher professional development, instructional materials for PreK and elementary teachers, and strategies for diverse learners. Many of these projects studied interventions in more than one of the common areas.

Author/Presenter

Danielle Ferguson

Isabella Pinerua

Dean Gerdeman

Year
2022
Short Description

This review synthesized insights from 25 NSF DRK-12 projects that studied prekindergarten (PreK) and elementary science teaching. This review covered 25 of the 27 projects funded between 2011 and 2015. We synthesized the empirical findings from interventions in four common areas: preservice PreK and elementary preparation programs, in-service teacher professional development, instructional materials for PreK and elementary teachers, and strategies for diverse learners. Many of these projects studied interventions in more than one of the common areas. Researchers found that DRK-12 projects showed promise in increasing preservice and in-service teachers’ self-efficacy and pedagogical content knowledge and students’ science content knowledge.

Beginning School-University Partnerships for Transformative Social Change in Science Education: Narratives From The Field

These narratives explore what it might entail to begin school–university partnerships towards the goal of transformative social changes through the voices of two women scholars of color. Using two school–university partnerships as focal cases, we unpack the complexity, tensions, and possibilities that arise through collaborations driven by the objective to promote new and more just forms of science learning within public schools.

Author/Presenter

Hosun Kang

María González-Howard

Year
2022
Short Description

These narratives explore what it might entail to begin school–university partnerships towards the goal of transformative social changes through the voices of two women scholars of color. Using two school–university partnerships as focal cases, we unpack the complexity, tensions, and possibilities that arise through collaborations driven by the objective to promote new and more just forms of science learning within public schools. In this article, we use three key dimensions of participatory design research (namely, critical historicity, power, and relationality) as analytical lenses through which to reflect upon school–university partnerships that we are in the beginning stages of forming.

Adapting Existing Curriculum for Equitable Learning Experiences

Despite the increased availability of curricular resources intended to support teachers to engage in equitable instruction as expected by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States 2013), teachers are still left wondering how to use those generic resources in local classroom contexts that have unique challenges.

Author/Presenter

Nelly Tsai

Hosun Kang

Jasmine Chang

Karly Cassese

Year
2022
Short Description

In this article, we—a team of science teachers and a university researcher—present the processes of adapting existing curricular resources to promote equitable learning experiences for diverse learners. Using a middle school ecology unit as an example, we illustrate what the modification process looks like in two key elements of designing NGSS-aligned science instruction: (a) making phenomena matter with the consideration of student identities and (b) leveraging students’ diverse ideas and questions to drive instruction.

Uvvatuq Naluallangniaqtugut (I Humbly Hope We Run Into Game): An Iñupiaq Research Process

Uvvatuq naluallangniaqtugut (I humbly hope we run into game) is a phrase an Iñupiaq person would say before going out hunting in the Selawik dialect. We believe all things have a spirit, including animals. If a hunter announces they are going out hunting, the animal spirits will hear that and the hunter may have bad luck. Another phrase said in English is “I am going out for a ride.” The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Author/Presenter

Sean Asiqłuq Topkok

Hannah Paniyavluk Loon

Year
2021
Short Description

The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Development Team is working with the Northwest Arctic Borough School District to develop STEM lessons utilizing Iñupiaq knowledge systems and university research for middle school-age students in three villages. The UAF participating programs humbly reached out to local community members to establish a TRACKS Team. However, the UAF participating programs wanted the TRACKS Team to identify what is important to teach their children. The community were the ones to identify the research topic, utilizing an analogy Uvvatuq naluallangniaqtugut (I humbly hope we run into game) for an Iñupiaq research process.

Resource(s)

Understanding Students' Sense-Making Processes When Faced with Unexpected Data: A Case Study in High School Biology

Examining a lesson in a high school biology unit that utilized noisy sensor data, we sought to understand the ways students engaged in active reasoning about the data and the factors that influenced this process. Video analysis centers on one small group of students as they learn to use sensors to collect data on osmosis, focusing particularly on their reactions to variation within and across experimental runs.

Author/Presenter

Natalya St. Clair

Brandi Ediss

Lynn Stephens

Lead Organization(s)
Year
2021
Short Description

Examining a lesson in a high school biology unit that utilized noisy sensor data, we sought to understand the ways students engaged in active reasoning about the data and the factors that influenced this process. Video analysis centers on one small group of students as they learn to use sensors to collect data on osmosis, focusing particularly on their reactions to variation within and across experimental runs.

Eco-Solutioning: The Design and Evaluation of a Curricular Unit to Foster Students’ Creation of Solutions to Address Local Socio-Scientific Issues

The global pandemic and climate change have led to unprecedented environmental, social, and economic challenges with interdisciplinary STEM foundations. Even as STEM learning has never been more important, very few pre-college programs prepare students to address these challenges by emphasizing socio-scientific issue (SSI) problem solving and the engineering design of solutions to address local phenomena.

Author/Presenter

Nancy Butler Songer

Guillermo D. Ibarrola Recalde

Lead Organization(s)
Year
2021
Short Description

The global pandemic and climate change have led to unprecedented environmental, social, and economic challenges with interdisciplinary STEM foundations. Even as STEM learning has never been more important, very few pre-college programs prepare students to address these challenges by emphasizing socio-scientific issue (SSI) problem solving and the engineering design of solutions to address local phenomena. The paper discusses the design and evaluation of a pre-college, SSI curricular unit where students expand their learning by creating solutions to increase biodiversity within local urban neighborhoods.

Science Education and the Learning Sciences: A Coevolutionary Connection

In this chapter, we argue that the learning sciences and science education have coevolved, a co-evolution that began with the emergence of the learning sciences in the 1990s and that continues today. Our chapter begins with a discussion of four areas of educational scholarship in which the learning sciences and science education have worked in mutually beneficial ways to shape each other’s scholarship, resulting in advantageous outcomes for both fields.

Author/Presenter

Nancy Butler Songer

Yael Kali

Lead Organization(s)
Year
2022
Short Description

In this chapter, we argue that the learning sciences and science education have coevolved, a co-evolution that began with the emergence of the learning sciences in the 1990s and that continues today.

Exploring the Viral Spread of Disease and Disinformation

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of mathematical models in predicting the spread of the coronavirus (Srinivas 2020; Stevens & Muyskens 2020) and assessing the effectiveness of various safety measures in reducing that spread (Li et al 2020). These models can be extremely sophisticated, drawing on the expertise of applied mathematicians, epidemiologists, public health experts, and others, but at its core, there is a notion of exponential growth that is relevant for the secondary mathematics curriculum.

Author/Presenter

Samuel Otten

Julia Bemke

Jerred Webb

Lead Organization(s)
Year
2022
Short Description

The tasks described in this chapter are intended to build connections between these real-world dangers of viral spread and some relevant topics from the secondary mathematics curriculum. We also explore a link between mathematical reasoning and media literacy—the ability to discern the commercial, ideological, or political motivations of media and the recognition that receivers negotiate the meaning of messages (Aufderheide, 1993)—so that, just as we know to take safety precautions with regard to an airborne coronavirus, we can also help our students learn to take precautions against the spread of misinformation on social media.

We Strive: Initial Explorations of STEM Teachers' Successes and Challenges in Implementing Socioscientific Issues

This study explores two teachers participating in professional development workshops implementing SocioScientific Issues (SSI) into STEM classrooms. Two research questions were investigated: (a) To what extent did teachers implement SSI into their lesson plans and (b) In what ways did lessons change from the beginning of the workshop?

Author/Presenter

Joseph Johnson

Augusto Macalalag

Becky Mathers-Lowery

Gabrielle Ialacci

Year
2022
Short Description

This study explores two teachers participating in professional development workshops implementing SocioScientific Issues (SSI) into STEM classrooms. Two research questions were investigated: (a) To what extent did teachers implement SSI into their lesson plans and (b) In what ways did lessons change from the beginning of the workshop?

We Strive: Initial Explorations of STEM Teachers' Successes and Challenges in Implementing Socioscientific Issues

This study explores two teachers participating in professional development workshops implementing SocioScientific Issues (SSI) into STEM classrooms. Two research questions were investigated: (a) To what extent did teachers implement SSI into their lesson plans and (b) In what ways did lessons change from the beginning of the workshop?

Author/Presenter

Joseph Johnson

Augusto Macalalag

Becky Mathers-Lowery

Gabrielle Ialacci

Year
2022
Short Description

This study explores two teachers participating in professional development workshops implementing SocioScientific Issues (SSI) into STEM classrooms. Two research questions were investigated: (a) To what extent did teachers implement SSI into their lesson plans and (b) In what ways did lessons change from the beginning of the workshop?