Engineering

Physical Science Comes Alive: Exploring Things that Go

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.

Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0733209
Funding Period: 
Sat, 09/01/2007 to Sat, 09/01/2012
Project Evaluator: 
Dr. Marie Hoepfl
Full Description: 

 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.

Inquiry-based Laboratories for Engaging Students of Creative and Performing Arts in STEM

This project develops, implements, and evaluates new multimedia laboratory activities designed to engage students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The project specifically targets artistically gifted students who are often steered towards more traditionally creative areas (e.g., arts and humanities) and away from STEM. The goals to help students understand that scientific principles permeate the creative and performing arts and that creativity and expression are also embraced by STEM.

Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0733284
Funding Period: 
Wed, 08/15/2007 to Sat, 07/31/2010

Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education (CADRE)

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.

Project Email: 
Award Number: 
1813076
Funding Period: 
Wed, 10/01/2008 to Wed, 09/30/2020
Full Description: 

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.

 
Our resources can be found across the website. Learn about our Early Career work, browse CADRE products, view our Spotlights and Toolkits, and join us for upcoming events.
 

Project Videos

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


Science Learning: Integrating Design, Engineering and Robotics (SLIDER)

This project is developing and implementing a rigorous eighth grade physical science program that utilizes engineering design, LEGO™ robotics and mechanics, and a problem-based learning approach to teach mechanics, waves, and energy.

Award Number: 
0918618
Funding Period: 
Thu, 10/01/2009 to Tue, 09/30/2014
Project Evaluator: 
Dr. Gordon Kingsley
Full Description: 

SLIDER is a 5 year $3.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Discovery Research K-12 (DR-K12) program. During the grant period (10/1/09 -9/30/14), the SLIDER program will seek to answer the question: "What effects do robotics, engineering design, and problem-based inquiry science have on student learning and academic engagement in 8th grade physical science classes?"

The Team:

Georgia Tech faculty and staff from a number of academic units (CEISMC, CETL, Math, Psychology, Biomedical Engineering & Computing) and a national-level advisory board.  

Teachers, principals and school system administrators representing Fulton County Schools, Cobb County Schools  and Emanuel County Schools and the Georgia Department of Education.

Richard Millman  PI
Marion Usselman  Co - PI
Donna Llewellyn Co-PI for Research

Program Goals:

  1. Design and implement a problem-based robotics curriculum as a context for 8th graders to learn physics and reasoning skills, and as a way to increase student engagement, motivation, aptitude, creativity and STEM interest.
  2. Conduct research to determine the effectiveness of the program across all curriculum development parameters.
  3. Determine how students engage the material across ethnic, socio- cultural, gender and geographic (rural, urban, and suburban) lines.
  4. Measure the “staying power” of the experience as students move from middle to high school.

The Method:

Using “backwards design” strategies, the SLIDER curriculum development team at CEISMC will create inquiry-based engineering design instructional materials for 8th grade Physical Science that use robotics as the learning tool and that are aligned with the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS). The materials will employ problem-based challenges that require students to design, program, investigate, and reflect, and then revise their product or solution. They will consist of three 4-6 week modules that cover the physics concepts of Mechanics (force, motion, simple machines), Waves (light, sound, magnetism, electricity, heat), and Energy.   CEISMC will also design the teacher professional development necessary for effective implementation of the curriculum.

Simulation and Modeling in Technology Education (SMTE)

This project develops and researches the academic potential of a hybrid instructional model that infuses computer simulations, modeling, and educational gaming into middle school technology education programs. These prototypical materials use 3-D simulations and educational gaming to support students’ learning of STEM content and skills through developing solutions to design challenges.

Project Email: 
Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0821965
Funding Period: 
Fri, 08/01/2008 to Sun, 07/31/2011
Project Evaluator: 
Dr. Deborah Hecht

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