High School

Master of Arts in Teaching Program at the American Museum of Natural History

Principal Investigator: 

Wallace, J. (2014, March). Master of Arts in Teaching Program at the American Museum of Natural History. Poster presented at the Noyce Northeast Regional Conference, Philadelphia, PA.

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Discipline / Topic: 

Investigating science teaching core practices in high-needs urban settings

Principal Investigator: 

Howes, E., & Wallace, J. (2017, July). Investigating science teaching core practices in high-needs urban settings. Poster presented at the 2017 NOYCE Summit, Washington, DC.

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Discipline / Topic: 

Multimedia Immersion Inspires STEM Learning

This project will develop, pilot, and evaluate a nine-week STEM-rich multimedia production course for high school students called Multimedia Immersion (MI). The MI course will engage teams of students to develop a personally and socially relevant storyline that guides their use of accessible audio and video technologies to create a five-minute animated video. To develop student STEM experience and provide technical support, the project will provide guidance and learning experiences in engineering (e.g., criteria, constraints, optimization, tradeoffs), science (e.g.

Award Number: 
1720964
Funding Period: 
Fri, 09/01/2017 to Sat, 08/31/2019
Full Description: 

The Multimedia Immersion (MI) project will develop, pilot, and evaluate a nine-week STEM-rich multimedia production course for high school students. MI will make important contributions to the field through its efforts to design and evaluate the promises and challenges of a nine-week multimedia curriculum in multiple urban high schools. The MI course will engage teams of students to develop a personally and socially relevant storyline that guides their use of accessible audio and video technologies to create a five-minute animated video. To develop student STEM experience and provide technical support, the project will provide guidance and learning experiences in engineering (e.g., criteria, constraints, optimization, tradeoffs), science (e.g. sound, light, energy, mechanics) and multimedia technologies (e.g., computer based audio production, video editing and visualizations through animatics (i.e., shooting a succession of storyboards with a soundtrack).

Because the curriculum situates engineering and science learning in the context of multimedia production, there are natural synergies with several existing high school courses including engineering design, audio/video media production, and multimedia technology. Although these courses are typically electives in high school, developing a 5-minute animated short on a topic of interest may encourage girls and students from underrepresented groups to select this course over other electives. MI will impact 10 teachers and approximately 250 high school students per year. The project will result in the following resources: nine-week curricular unit (multimedia, science, engineering); assessments to monitor student learning of science, engineering and technology (design logs); and research on changes in student knowledge, interest). Project resources will be disseminated to teachers, researchers, and curriculum and professional development providers via conference presentations, publications, and online webinars.

The MI project builds on student familiarity and interest in music, video and technology to promote an: (1) understanding of engineering design and physics and (2) an appreciation of the fundamental role of STEM in popular culture. Project evaluation will be conducted using student surveys and an examination of work products in conjunction with implementation challenges and successes to generate evidence for the feasibility and utility of a high school multimedia course that explicitly addresses science and engineering learning. Project evaluation will use student design logs as a window into student design processes and conceptual understanding. Student design logs are an essential feature of MI curriculum design. With an appropriate structure, these design logs can inform teaching, afford an opportunity for students to reflect on their own work, and provide evidence of student thinking and learning for assessment purposes. Using student design logs as a window into students' design process and conceptual understanding is an important contribution to the engineering education community which has few options for measuring student knowledge in ways that are consistent with the hands-on, iterative nature of the design process.

Integrating Chemistry and Earth Science

This project will design, develop, and test a new curriculum unit for high school chemistry courses that is organized around the question, "How does chemistry shape where I live?" The new unit will integrate relevant Earth science data, scientific practices, and key urban environmental research findings with the chemistry curriculum to gain insights into factors that support the approach to teaching and learning advocated by current science curriculum standards.

Award Number: 
1721163
Funding Period: 
Tue, 08/15/2017 to Wed, 07/31/2019
Full Description: 

This Integrating Chemistry and Earth science (ICE) project will design, develop, and test a new curriculum unit for high school chemistry courses that is organized around the question, "How does chemistry shape where I live?" The new unit will integrate relevant Earth science data, scientific practices, and key urban environmental research findings with the chemistry curriculum to gain insights into factors that support the approach to teaching and learning advocated by current science curriculum standards. The overarching goal of the project is to develop teacher capacity to teach and evaluate student abilities to use the practices of scientists and concepts from Earth science and chemistry to understand important phenomena in their immediate, familiar environments. The project has the potential to serve as a model for how to make cutting edge science directly accessible to all students. The project is a collaborative effort that engages scientists, science education researchers, curriculum developers, school curriculum and instruction leaders, and science teachers in the longer term challenge of infusing Earth science concepts and practices across the core high school science courses.

Current guidelines and standards for science education promote learning that engages students in three interrelated dimensions: disciplinary core ideas, scientific practices, and crosscutting ideas. This project is guided by the hypothesis that when provided sustained opportunities to engage in three-dimensional learning experiences, in an integrated Earth science and chemistry context, students will improve in their ability to demonstrate the coordination of disciplinary core ideas, scientific practices, and crosscutting concepts when solving problems and developing explanations related to scientific phenomena. This project will employ a design based research approach, and during the two development-enactment-analysis-and-redesign cycles, the project team will collect student assessment data, teacher interview data, observational data from lessons, teacher surveys, and reflective teacher logbooks. These collected data will provide information about how teachers implement the lessons, what students do during the lessons, and what students learn from them that will lead to better design and a better understanding of student learning. This information will be used to inform the modification of lessons from cycle to cycle, and to inform the professional development materials for teachers. The research agenda for the project is guided by the following questions: 1. What are the design features of ICE lessons that support teachers in enacting three-dimensional instruction within the context of their classroom? 2. What are the design features of embedded three-dimensional assessments that yield useful classroom data for teachers and researchers regarding their students' abilities to integrate core ideas, scientific practices, and crosscutting concepts? 3. What is the nature of student learning related to disciplinary core ideas, scientific practices, and crosscutting concepts that results from students' engagement in ICE lesson sets? 4. What differences emerge in student engagement and learning outcomes for ICE lessons that incorporate local phenomena or data sets as compared to lessons that do not? 5. What contextual factors (i.e., school context, administrative support, time constraints, etc.) influence teachers' implementation of three-dimensional instruction embedded within ICE lessons?


Project Videos

2019 STEM for All Video Showcase

Title: Integrating Chemistry and Earth Science (ICE)

Presenter(s): Alan Berkowitz, Vonceil Anderson, Bess Caplan, Kevin Garner, & Jonathon Grooms


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