January 2024 Newsletter

Happy 2024 DRK-12 PI Community!

Letter from NSF Program Directors

NSF logoWhile we are starting a new year, we would like to acknowledge your remarkable efforts and unwavering commitment to fostering excellence in STEM education, facilitating innovative approaches to learning and teaching in pre-K-12 classrooms, and promoting equity in schools across diverse geographies. During 2023, we were awed by your work in reimagining STEM education in schools with new technologies, such as generative AI, while at the same time thinking about the ethical and equitable implications of these technologies. It has been inspiring to see how DRK-12 projects reconsidered school partnerships where co-design methods are utilized, teachers' and students' voices are respected, and cultural and local factors are thoroughly considered.

During 2023, we continued to see critical and timely initiatives at NSF, the Directorate for STEM Education (EDU), and the Division of Research on Learning (DRL) in Formal and Informal Learning Settings. On August 9, 2023, NSF celebrated the first anniversary of the Chips and Sciences Act, which emphasizes the investments for accelerating the innovation of science and engineering technology. Authorized by this Act, NSF, for the first time, awarded funds to institutions for Accelerating Research Translation (ART), which will increase the speed and broaden the scale of publicly available products and structures informed by the most recent research. Toward achieving the goals of the CHIPS and Sciences Act of 2022, the Directorate for STEM Education, in partnership with the CISE (Computer and Information Science and Engineering) directorate, announced a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) on EducateAI. The EducateAI DCL aims to fund proposals to support educators in providing effective and contextually informed educational experiences with AI for learners of all ages nationwide. Another response to the Chips and Sciences Act from the Directorate for STEM Education was the publication of the DCL for Advancing Microelectronics Education. This DCL called for proposals to raise interest and participation in the microelectronics workforce through activities or programs across all learning settings and all ages. DRL participated in this DCL with its programs, including DRK-12. Another critical initiative of 2023 was launching the Global Centers (GC) program to promote the establishment of collaborative international centers that focus on interdisciplinary, application-driven research related to climate change and clean energy. This collaboration involves partnerships with funding agencies in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The Directorate for STEM Education took part in this timely initiative.

One important event of 2023 was the publication of the new DRK-12 solicitation (NSF 23-596). This revised solicitation has some critical updates, such as the inclusion of a new project type on "partnership development" and highlighting creative dissemination that benefits researchers, educators, parents, community members, youth, and policymakers. Another important event of 2023 for the DRK-12 program was the PI meeting, which was organized by CADRE. The 2023 PI meeting was the first in-person gathering following post-pandemic conditions. DRK-12 program directors enjoyed one-on-one and group meetings with you, listening to your progress and your ideas for future research. The concurrent sessions became a place for critical discussions on timely issues, including equity- and justice-oriented STEM education, the role of AI in education, action-oriented learning for grand environmental challenges, and culturally sustaining teacher professional learning.

We look forward to seeing future proposals generated from the valuable interactions at this PI meeting. We thank CADRE staff and the 2023 DRK-12 PI committee members for listening to requests from the PI community, for their tireless work organizing the meeting, and for creating vibrant networking opportunities for the PIs and NSF staff. 

In this letter, we remind the PI community that our division and the DRK-12 program at NSF take great pride in learning about your achievements, noteworthy moments, and valuable contributions to the field. We encourage you to keep us informed about your updates, publications, and any inquiries regarding your current awards. Celebrating your success brings us joy, and we are eager to share them at NSF! Additionally, we are here to support your work when you have questions or concerns. Please reach out to our program directors with new ideas and suggestions to enhance both your work and the overall impact of our program.

We appreciate your work continuously moving the needle to improve STEM Education for all K12 learners and teachers. 

Asli Sezen-Barrie & Michael Ford
Program Leads, Discovery Research PreK-12, National Science Foundation 

Dear Colleagues,

CADRE logoThank you Drs. Ford and Sezen-Barrie for the welcome. Here at CADRE, we’re looking forward to learning about and spotlighting the innovative research of the more than 300 active DRK-12 projects and supporting those research teams in 2024. We’re also excited about supporting the next generation of DRK-12 researchers. Read about our recent Learning Series and upcoming NARST session, and watch for our new releases in our video series, which provides insights into research-project and proposal design.

This month, our Spotlight focuses on projects’ approaches to and research on the benefits of coaching and mentoring STEM teachers. We hope you review the additional resources on CADREK12.org to find projects and products addressing coaching and mentoring for a wider population of scholars and students.

One of the ways we gather information about DRK-12 projects is through our annual portfolio survey. Active projects’ principal investigators should expect to receive an invitation to complete the survey in the coming week. We strongly encourage every project to complete the survey so we can provide an accurate characterization of DRK-12 research projects.


The CADRE Team

Coaching and Mentoring STEM Educators | Spotlight

two people sitting on sofa

This Spotlight features research on coaching and mentoring STEM educators. Three projects share their approaches to supporting mathematics educators through a combination of professional learning, ongoing support, innovative tools, and relationship-building. They share advice on how other DRK-12 projects might approach coaching and mentoring in their own projects and proposals, and discuss the challenges and affordances of mentoring and coaching models.

In this Spotlight:

CADRE Learning Series on Rural Partnerships | Resources

learning series logo with panelist photos

Recognizing the unique assets and needs of rural schools, DRK-12 researchers are working in partnerships with rural communities across the U.S. to support STEM education. In Part 1 of this Learning Series, researchers shared their approaches to working in rural settings and creating mutually beneficial partnerships. They highlighted both affordances and challenges to working with rural schools and offered strategies to keep in mind when building a research plan and budget. View the recording and slides.

If you would like feedback on your own partnership work (current or potential) in rural settings, join us for Part 2 of the learning series, on February 13, for small-group consultations.

CADRE at NARST | Pre-Conference Proposal Workshop

NARST logo

Join CADRE leaders Drs. Ilana Horn and Terrell Morton for a pre-conference workshop at the NARST Annual Conference that offers tips and tools for writing successful National Science Foundation (NSF) grant proposals. This is a great opportunity for early career scholars.

For additional tools, explore CADRE's NSF Proposal Toolkit.

Project Tip: Preparing a Successful NSF CAREER Proposal

NSF encourages submission of CAREER proposals from early-career faculty at all CAREER-eligible organizations and especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and persons with disabilities. These resources may help you get started:


News from NSF

News from NSF Networks

News from DRK-12 Projects and Awardees


Do you have news to share? Email cadre@edc.org.

Upcoming Opportunities

The following funding and publication opportunities, listed by deadline, may be of interest to you and your DRK-12 project members.


For more NSF funding opportunities, see CADRE's list of Upcoming NSF DRL EHR Solicitation Deadlines.


For other publication opportunities, including those with ongoing submissions, see CADRE's list of Publications for STEM Educators, Policymakers, and Researchers.
For more conference information, see CADRE's list of Conferences for STEM Educators, Policymakers, and Researchers.

Career & Professional Development

    For job, funding, and capacity-building opportunities for doctoral students, postdocs, and other early career scholars, visit our Early Career News & Opportunities page.

    In Case You Missed It

    Highlights from recent newsletters and announcements:

    A complete archive of our newsletters and announcements is available on cadrek12.org.

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