The goals of STEM instruction are to educate a populace that is scientifically and mathematically literate and who can solve real-world problems by applying science and mathematics. This exploratory project is designed to study the effectiveness of professional development focused on the integration of mathematics and science instruction, mediated by technology tools, to improve middle school teachers' ability to teach scientific inquiry and mathematical problem solving.
This exploratory project aims to develop a community of individuals and organizations working together to address critical issues in K-12 computer science education by broadening the awareness of the need for curriculum computer science standards, providing multiple levels of professional development, conducting and disseminating research in computer science education, and promoting this subject as a unique field of study in schools.
This project addresses biology teachers and students at the high school level, responding to the exponential increases occurring in biology knowledge today and the need for students to understand the experimental basis behind biology concepts. The project studies the feasibility of engaging students in an environment where they can learn firsthand how science knowledge develops in the fields of bioinformatics and DNA science by performing collaborative, simulated experiments to solve open-ended problems.
This project is developing technology-rich science curriculum exemplars for grades 3-6 based on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles. The project is testing the effectiveness of the approach and providing an exemplar that can inspire additional content and further development. A set of professional development materials to support teacher implementation of UDL science curriculum in the classroom is planned. Probes are used for lab investigations and computational models are used for experimentation in virtual environments.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Elementary Science Materials use inquiry as the cornerstone for the development of elementary science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities. To give the degree of control over the learning environment that UDL requires, it is important that inquiry be brought under computer management. Students explore the real world using probes and simulated worlds using computational models. This gives students powerful tools in a software environment that allows the tools to be adapted to individuals.
Units were developed around four driving questions. Why are there clouds? What if there was no friction? What do plants eat? What is electricity? Each unit contains grade-appropriate (grades 3-4 and grades 5-6) hands-on, model-based, and probe-based activities with a wide range of alternatives for the way tools are used in the classroom, the materials are represented and communicated, and learning is assessed. These alternatives boil down to a series of software switches and sliders that teachers and students can control in order to individualize the learning experience.
SmartGraphs activities run in a web browser; there is no software to download or install. SmartGraphs allows students to interact with on-screen graphs to learn about linear equations, the motion of objects, population dynamics, global warming, or other STEM topics that use scatter plots or line graphs. Teachers and students may also use and share existing activities, which are released under a Creative Commons license (see http://www.concord.org/projects/smartgraphs#curriculum).
SmartGraphs is a project that studies the educational value of digital objects embedded in graphs that “know” about themselves and that provide scaffolding to students to help them learn about graphs and the concepts conveyed in graphs. As planned, digital Smart Graphs can be authored or customized by teachers and accept inputs from students’ responses, sketches, functions, models, and probes. The software analyzes the graphs for the kinds of features that experts recognize and then engages students in conversations that instruct and assess student knowledge.
The project is guided by collaboration between the Concord Consortium and the Pennsylvania State Department of Education Classrooms for the Future program, through which 140,000 laptop computers are deployed to serve 500,000 students. The development of Smart Graphs is based on extensive prior research about students’ use and understanding of graphs (TEEMSS II and Science Universal Design for Learning projects) at the Concord Consortium.
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.
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 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.