Fall 2011 Newsletter

Dear Colleagues:

CADRE has had a busy summer and fall, and you will read about some of our activities in this newsletter. DR K-12 PIs, please watch your email for the annual survey conducted by UMass Donahue Institute, our evaluator. As researchers, we know we can count on you to respond in a timely way!

We hope you will join us in welcoming a group of new awardees to CADRE. To ease their transition to the NSF world, we will be hosting a webcast, “Nuts & Bolts,” led by NSF staff, on Oct. 24th. Participants have found this extremely helpful in the past. This is the first time we are offering this in a virtual way, and we are optimistic that it will be successful.

You will find in this newsletter information about the CADRE Fellows program. Again this year, we are seeking early career DR K-12 project staff with potential leadership capacity.

You will also learn about a series of webcasts on the DR K-12 solicitation; these will take place on Oct. 28, Nov. 1, and Nov. 2. As a reminder, Letters of Intent are required by Nov. 17th. Proposals are due January 10, 2012.

Most important, please mark your calendar for the 2012 PI meeting. It will take place June 13-15 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City. We will build on strengths of the past meetings, and make changes based on your evaluation comments and the guidance of our advisors. You can count on poster sessions, the gaming arcade, time for work groups and networking, and PI-designed collaborative sessions. As always, we will pay attention to what is on the agenda of NSF, and the evolving national STEM policy issues.

We look forward to a productive year. Feel free to contact us if there are ways we can support your interests and needs.

Barbara Brauner Berns

Event: Nuts & Bolts Webinar

We invite new and returning awardees to take part in the upcoming NSF Nuts & Bolts webinar, hosted by CADRE on October 24 (Monday), 2:00pm-4:00pm EDT. The webinar is designed to introduce awardees to the ins and outs of project management. This session is adapted from the in-person meeting held during the past several PI meetings. Participants have regularly given this experience high marks in annual evaluations. There are also slides on the CADRE website for those who want a refresher.  

RSVP by emailing CADRE@edc.org to reserve your spot and receive webinar access details.

Projects & People: 2011-2012 CADRE Fellowship

CADRE is now accepting applications for Fellows for the 2011-2012 academic year.

The CADRE Fellowship is a competitive program providing a significant professional development experience for early career researchers and developers currently working on a DR K-12 project. Through program activities, Fellows gain exposure to research and development from across the country related to STEM education, gain insights into NSF and what it takes to be successful and effective in this work, and network with DR K-12 PIs and Fellows from across the country. Fellows will also have the opportunity to experience an NSF PI meeting alongside their own PI to take place in Arlington, VA  June 13-15, 2012.

Comments from previous Fellows on the experience include:

"Attending the PI meeting and the webinars provided me with many chances to interact with professionals, help me feel more connected to the academic world, and build confidence in talking about and carrying out my own research studies." 

"I believe the insider knowledge that I have gained from the PI meeting, and the webinars and conference calls relating to NSF grant writing and employment opportunities will give my early career a boost."

Each applicant must be sponsored by a PI or Co-PI on a current DR K-12 project.

Learn more and download the application hereThe application deadline is October 28, 2011.

Event: 2012 DR K-12 PI Meeting - Save the Date!

2012 DR K-12 PI Meeting
June 13-15, 2012
Hyatt Regency Crystal City
Arlington, VA

Watch your inbox this winter for the Call for Proposals. In the spring, invitations for meeting registration will be sent to DR K-12 PIs receiving funding in 2011 or 2012.

Event: DR K-12 Program Webinars

This fall, NSF and CADRE are hosting a series of webinars providing an overview of the DR K-12 funding program and reviewing the recently released DR K-12 solicitation.  

Revisions to this year’s solicitation include:
(1) Adjustments to the award amount and duration of Full Research and Development awards;
(2) A call for highly innovative learning materials into Strand 2 and the elimination of previous Challenge 5; and
(3) New deadlines for conference and workshop proposal submissions, which may no longer be submitted at any time during the year and are now due at the same deadline as all other DR K-12 proposals.

We invite you to register for one of the following sessions here. Webinar access information will be sent to registrants in the coming weeks.

  • October 28 (Friday), 3:00pm-4:30pm EDT
  • November 1 (Tuesday), 1:30pm-3:00pm EDT
  • November 2 (Wednesday), 1:30pm-3:00pm EDT

Event: Massachusetts STEM Summit - A Test Case

CADRE, in collaboration with resource networks serving ISE, ITEST, MSP, and REESE,  invited MA PIs and Co-PIs to participate in the Annual Massachusetts STEM Summit on October 18th, 2011. It is an attempt to bring together Massachusetts STEM state, district, and school leaders with NSF-funded project leaders to learn more about each others' work. If this model is successful, it can be replicated elsewhere. Our appreciation to Neil Heffernan (DR K-12, REESE), Mike Barnett (ITEST), and Bob Chen (MSP) for serving as panelists, and to others from across the state for providing posters and good conversation. 

Download a description of the event session strands here. General event information is available here.

Event: STEM Smart Schools

The National Research Council's recent report has gained attention for providing evidence-based research on successful STEM schools and practices. CADRE, through supplemental funding from NSF, is playing an important role in making the report findings, recommendations, and implications accessible to stakeholders across the country. On Sept. 19th, the report roll-out took place at Drexel University and attracted nearly 300 participants. Selected DR K-12 awardees served on the study committee, prepared papers that provided a foundation for the report, and participated in exhibits illustrating elements in the report. Committee members associated with DR K-12 included Adam Gamoran (chair), Stuart Elliott, Thomas Keller, Barbara Means, and Steven Schneider. Commissioned papers were prepared by DR K-12 colleagues Jere Confrey and Alan Maloney; Okhee Lee; Jim Minstrell and Min Li; Robert Tai; and Suzanne Wilson. DR K-12 exhibitors included Jere Confrey and Alan Maloney; Joe Krajcik and Leanne Sutherland; Jim Minstrell; and Jeremy Roschelle.

The webcast of the September 19th event at Drexel University is available here. For more information about this event and initiative, visit successfulstemeducation.org. Stay tuned for information on upcoming regional meetings near you!

Projects & People: Feature Your Work

In the coming weeks, CADRE will launch the first in a series of project collection spotlights, in which grantees collectively examine a topic of common interest. In the first collection, focused on work with English Language Learners (ELLs), participants collectively discuss their work with ELLs, the challenges associated with work in this area, dissemination strategies, and advice for those new to the field.

We invite your suggestions for future collection topics and welcome volunteers to participate!

Email CADRE@edc.org if you are interested in having your project featured or if you have suggestions for a future project collection topic.

Don't forget to check out the current project spotlight, in which the Math Snacks team discusses their project's use of mobile technologies.

Projects & People: Upcoming Work Group Presentations at Regional Conferences

Partners Building Knowledge: Collaboration among Practitioners, Researchers, and Curriculum Developers
NCTM Regional Conference Atlantic City, NJ Friday, October 21, 2011: 11:00am-12:00pm
Presenters: Karen King (NCTM), Gary Benenson (CUNY), Derek Riley (PSA), & Patricia Baltzley (Baltimore County Public Schools)
CADRE work group members will describe how research and development (R&D) projects can benefit when they are true partnerships for building knowledge and products. Drawing on practitioner and R&D agent experiences, participants will learn strategies that lead to effective partnerships and discuss the challenges, expectations, and outcomes related to collaboration among R&D project partners.

Public School and University Partnerships for Learning
NCTM Regional Conference Albuquerque, NM Friday, November 4, 2011: 3:30pm-4:30pm
Presenters: Karin Wiburg (NMSU) and Lisa Virag (NMSU)
A CADRE work group member will address creating and maintaining partnerships that support research, development, and learning between universities and public schools. The speakers will highlight several projects, discuss realistic expectations and ideas for sustainability, and emphasize practical lessons and tools for designing and maintaining successful partnerships.

Projects & People: Curriculum Group Expands Dialogue on Transitioning to Digital Materials

On July 11, 2010, representatives of the Curriculum Special Interest group, including Chad Dorsey (Concord Consortium), Sue Doubler (TERC), John Howarth (Lawrence Hall of Science), Jackie Miller (EDC), and Pam Van Scotter (BSCS) had the opportunity to share with HandsOn Science Partnership (HOSP) the work our group has been doing relating to the transition of curriculum to the digital environment. HOSP is an organization whose primary mission is to advance student achievement in learning science through hands-on curriculum and materials. The membership is comprised of businesses that support this mission and whose products provide the instructional materials and equipment needed to carry it out.

The goal of meeting with HOSP was to initiate conversations with the major business players in the field about the implications of the move toward digital curriculum and to consider together what this means for developers, school populations, and business providers. Jackie provided an overview of the work the Curriculum SIG has been doing for the past 18 months.

Under the auspices of CADRE a group of curriculum developers across the country got together to consider the nature of curriculum in the 21st century and to explore how the print curricula developed in the past two decades with funding from NSF might transition into the digital environment. The group initially asked the question:

 “Can print materials be re-purposed to the digital environment and, if so, how?”

The SIG group concluded that this transition is not only possible but that it is critical to retain the high quality, research-based instructional materials and teacher support that these curricula provide. The discussions raised many questions including:

  • How do digital affordances work with hands-on instruction? 
  • What will the materials look like? 
  • Would this new format change the learning objectives and outcomes for students? 
  • What is the impact on the common core standards?
  • What are the criteria for digital materials to ensure that the advantages of digital are used to enhance rather than just replace print? 
  • What is the sequence of steps required to move from print to digital in an innovative yet thoughtful way?
  • Is conceptual coherence different between in print (linear) vs. digital curriculum?
  • How will full whole core curriculum interface with the  many open source resources available?
  • How does the professional development support the shift?
  • Who are the players and stakeholders in deciding the direction of this change?
  • What is the market now? In the future?

In a frank discussion the group explored the challenges and opportunities at this juncture and contextualized the challenges for the many different stakeholders:

  • Developers – who need time and funding to define and create new approaches to curriculum and to do it right;
  • Publishers and Materials Suppliers – who may have the resources required to change the way these new kinds of programs and products are marketed, sold and distributed and to support the transition between the old and the new;
  • Buyers – who need to be well informed about how digital learning can best be implemented to ensure the retention of what is known about effective learning and best practice in teaching;
  • Teachers – who may be reluctant to adopt another new teaching program, method and/or approach and may be confronting “double innovation” in inquiry teaching and learning and the use of digital materials;
  • State education and legislative representatives – who need better information about fiscal implications of buying a science curriculum textbook in print vs. using web-based curricula.

The group was responsive to contextualizing their shared learning and experiences.  While there were no major conversions, there was interest amongst a smaller group of people to continue the conversation with a focus on actually doing something.  Ideas that were generated include:

  • Advocate for revision of NCLB to include science/STEM as part of the accountability mechanism as a first step toward bringing science education to the forefront;
  • Discuss with NSF and other groups (NOAA, Dept. of Energy, etc.) support for the re-purposing of print materials and developing new materials that incorporate the best of both worlds; 
  • Co-create options for funding mechanisms that could support an ”experiment” where groups of developers would re-purpose a set of learning progressions (not one lesson, and not a whole semester) by grade level that would require a hands-on lab experience and involve a digital interface.  HOSP members could provide the materials and tools to conduct the hands-on component and work with the developers to put this together to be reviewed and examined by NSF as they look at shaping their investment in the digital and technology areas. 

The group agreed to continue this conversation off line and report back to the full HOSP Board and the other members of the SIG group (as well as CADRE) as to its progress.  Rodger Bybee, and Chris Chopyak of HOSP and Jackie Miller and Barbara Berns of EDC agreed to connect and see what more detailed next steps might occur.

Projects & People: 2011 DR K-12 Awardees Announced

Congratulations and welcome to all recently announced DR K-12 awardees!

Download a list of recent DR K-12 awards here.

Resource: Updated Lists of Conferences and Publications

For your convenience, CADRE has updated the lists of STEM education conferences and publications, which include up-to-date instructions for presentation and manuscript proposals.


List of STEM Education Conferences

List of STEM Education Publications

Contact Us

If you want additional information on CADRE or have specific questions, please email CADRE.