Projects

10/01/2023

This project examines how Latine, bilingual teachers' dispositions to teach science and engineering to bilingual learners change as they enter the teaching profession. Specifically, it explores bilingual teachers' transition from a period of strong social support to one of scarce social support, i.e., from being Bilingual Teacher Candidates to Novice Bilingual Teachers (NBTs) as they plan and teach bilingual science and engineering lessons.

09/15/2023

This project is an innovative exploratory research study focused on developing a high school environmental engineering curriculum that addresses the challenges posed by climate change. The curriculum follows a model-validate-iterate design paradigm, where students model dynamic real-world systems, validate their models using data, and create multiple iterations to explore changes in the system over time. The project aims to cultivate a new generation of environmental engineers who possess the necessary skills to analyze complex systems, collaborate with diverse communities, and develop creative solutions.

09/15/2023

Online STEM credit courses have become attractive to school leaders as a way to support students who fail STEM courses in face-to-face school year settings. However, there is little research about the processes involved in how schools make decisions regarding student credit recovery. The available research focuses solely on student results and is not definitive enough to support important policy decisions at the district level. This research brings redress to this policy dilemma.

09/15/2023

This project contributes to advancing knowledge on STEM education focusing on societal challenges by harnessing the convergence of STEM subjects, including data science and computer science, to empower a minoritized student groupmultilingual middle-school learners.

09/15/2023

This project investigates the STEM teacher pipeline and examine qualifications, from teacher candidates who express interest in teaching STEM through to the eventual career paths of teachers in the workforce. In doing so, the project examines how the supply of STEM teachers has changed over time, whether the supply is adequate in meeting the needs of a changing nation, the qualifications and credentials of STEM teachers, and the implications of the STEM teacher career paths for equity and serving high needs contexts and students.

09/01/2023

This exploratory study aims to design, implement, and test climate science and history professional learning materials and experiences for high school teachers. By leveraging existing science and history/social science materials, the program will develop curricular planning tools and lessons to help teachers integrate climate literacy into their instructional units. The goal is to provide students with the knowledge to understand and respond to the social and environmental issues associated with the climate crisis.

08/01/2023

This synthesis study includes a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis of research published since 2001 evaluating the impact of family engagement interventions on student STEM outcomes. The goal of this project is to (a) determine the effectiveness of family engagement interventions on STEM outcomes, (b) identify practices/components within interventions that are most effective for promoting STEM outcomes, and (c) reveal the extent to which the effects of family engagement interventions vary as a function of study quality and/or certain child, family, and community characteristics.

08/01/2023

A long-standing challenge for education and learning sciences is sharing the distinct knowledge bases of researchers and teachers with each other. The goal of this project is to support teachers, STEM coaches, and researchers in sharing that knowledge so that they can learn from one another.

08/01/2023

This project builds capacity for middle school teachers to enact and adapt integrated STEM curriculum units with their students. The units will focus on biomimicryexamining structures and functions found in nature and applying these to solve human problems, which combines science, engineering, and technology. The project enables teachers to design activities that are personally authentic to their students by supporting teachers to examine their students' assets, needs, and interests and center these during unit design.

08/01/2023

A long-standing challenge for education and learning sciences is sharing the distinct knowledge bases of researchers and teachers with each other. The goal of this project is to support teachers, STEM coaches, and researchers in sharing that knowledge so that they can learn from one another.

07/15/2023

The project aims to develop and research Intelligent Science Stations, a new genre of interactive science experiences. The Intelligent Science Stations will provide students in kindergarten to 4th grade with hands-on science experiences, augmented by an intelligent agent that offers feedback based on artificial intelligence computer vision. This innovative approach offers evidence-based, personalized support and feedback to children, while also assisting teachers in integrating more inquiry-based science learning into their classrooms. By modeling behaviors like asking questions, making predictions, and explaining scientific phenomena, the interactive AI system helps teachers enhance their classroom experiences.

07/01/2023

This project will develop a standards-aligned engineering professional learning model for elementary teachers of multilingual learners. This interdisciplinary approach is innovative in its effort to provide teachers with sustained time to reflect on what they believe about language, their teaching of linguistically and racially minoritized students, and their interactions with multilingual students around engineering content. Using a participatory and collaborative approach, experts in literacy, language, and engineering will work with elementary teachers to develop strategies for how teachers can view students’ multilingualism as an asset to engineering.

07/01/2023

This project will provide rural STEM middle school teachers and career counselors professional development and the support needed to collaborate with each other and local community assets in designing, integrating, and implementing effective STEM content and career development activities. Local teams will co-develop project-based learning units that incorporate a place-based education perspective involving STEM assets, careers, and stakeholders from the local communities for middle school rural youth that intentionally infuse STEM careers in their area with STEM content.

06/01/2023

This project will develop, enact, and study a critical climate technology journalism curriculum to support multilingual sixth grade students’ knowledge and practices in engineering. Synthesizing expertise in climate technology, communication, and multilingual education, the project will engage students in investigating, designing, and communicating critical engineering knowledge about community-based technological systems. Students will learn engineering as they construct and convey messages about climate technology in their community for an audience of family members, community groups, and civic leaders.

09/01/2022

To act on energy issues, students need a strong understanding of energy flow and energy efficiency. However, students rarely have opportunities to learn about how buildings, such as their own school, drive about 40% of energy use and global carbon emissions. Addressing this gap in science education, this project will design, pilot, and evaluate a 6-week middle school curriculum called Build it Green! (BIG!). Blending classroom experiences and interactive digital learning tools, the researchers will work with rural middle schools in Missouri to implement and test how following the story of energy flow in and out of a hypothetical school building enhances students’ understanding of energy systems in the science of green buildings.

09/01/2022

In this project, the research team will create a computer-mediated design environment that enables students in grades 7-10 to collaboratively explore, make connections, generate, and evaluate design ideas that address environmental science challenges. A unique feature of the project is its use of an artificial intelligent (AI) design mentor that relies on Design Heuristics, a research-based creativity tool that guides students through exploration of ideas and “learns” from students’ design processes to better assist them. The project will examine students’ perceptions of science and engineering, their ability to integrate academic and personal or community knowledge, their confidence for engaging in engineering, and their design thinking.

09/01/2022

Familial presence in school supports children’s learning. However, few models exist that illustrate forms of familial presence in STEM learning that center familial cultural knowledge and practice. The project will produce a model for familial engagement in STEM along with instructional tools and illustrative case-studies that can be used by teachers and school districts nationally in support of increasing students’ STEM learning. This three-year study investigates new instructional practices that support rightful familial presence in STEM as a mechanism to address the continued racial and class gaps in STEM achievement for historically marginalized students.

09/01/2022

This three-year early-stage design and development project will support a new teacher professional development and support model that builds the agency of 30 Miami-Dade County public high school science teachers to design, implement, and refine engineering instruction for their Latinx and Black students by partnering of high school teachers with Latinx and Black undergraduate engineering students in collaborative teams to co-design and implement inclusive, standards-aligned formal and informal engineering experiences. This work will generate new ways to support teachers’ roles as change agents in enacting engineering pedagogies centering those who have been historically excluded.

08/01/2022

This project uses neural and behavioral measures of learning as a basis for making improvements to an immersive high school course that trains students in flexible spatial cognition and data analysis. Tracking students into college, the project measures long-term effects of improved spatial cognition resulting from the modified geospatial course curriculum.

08/01/2022

This project aims to deepen understanding of how to support and develop early childhood science learning by articulating science and engineering practices observed in children’s play. It also aims to develop early childhood educators’ abilities to identify and support nascent science and engineering practices with young children. Through this project early childhood educators will engage in professional learning using a refined version of the Science and Engineering Practices Observation Protocol (SciEPOP), an observation tool that allows researchers to identify and describe high-quality play-based engagement with science and engineering practices. Through video-rich professional learning along with peer-based coaching, early childhood educators will grow in their ability to prepare play environments, identify nascent science and engineering practices, enhance and extend investigations through play, and record and reflect upon this learning.

08/01/2022

This project will design and research a professional development (PD) model in which elementary teachers experience integrated, place-based, culturally sustaining STEM curriculum focused on local watersheds and grounded in local Native American cultural values and knowledge. The teachers will then design and implement their own culturally relevant STEM unit, guided by the PD, which is situated within their local watershed and Indigenous community.

08/01/2022

This study will investigate factors influencing teacher change after professional learning (PL) experiences and will examine the extent to which modest supports for science and engineering teaching in grades 3-5 sustain PL outcomes over the long term, such as increases in instructional time devoted to science, teacher self-efficacy in science, and teacher use of reform-oriented instructional strategies aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.

07/15/2022

The project will design, develop, and test a research-based professional development (PD) approach that will ensure that teachers, and ultimately their middle-school students, have the knowledge to act in a way that promotes zero net loss of biodiversity in their communities. Through their participation in the PD, teachers will be equipped to plan for and implement NGSS-aligned instruction, facilitate student identification and understanding of biodiversity and environmental justice issues in their local community, and foster student capacity to take action. Students will come to understand that biodiversity is a global issue that they can influence at the local level, and will become empowered, in both their knowledge and their agency, to be leaders in solving biodiversity problems in their communities.

07/01/2022

With increased focus on STEM education for students with extensive support needs ESN, engineering practices highlight the importance of problem-solving skills (e.g., systems thinking, creativity), and engineering lessons/units may provide a viable format for systematically planned math and science instruction that naturally embeds opportunities to teach students skills promoting increased self-regulated learning. Due to lack of prior experience teaching engineering, little is known about how teachers of students with ESN scaffold instruction to build their students’ engineering practices. Thus, this project focuses on teachers’ development of engineering practices, including how teachers support their students’ development of engineering-focused behaviors and mindsets through instruction.

07/01/2022

This project connects interdisciplinary researchers and experts from four tribal nation partners to develop and implement an in-service teacher professional certificate program that integrates Indigenous Knowledge into STEM teaching. This multi-sited teacher professional development model will enroll K-12 teachers in four different Native-serving regions of the rural West into a 12-month certificate program that combines Indigenous science, Coupled Human and Natural Systems, and Land education concepts into an experiential learning cycle with local and broad study of learning with the Land. The project will add knowledge about the transferability of local epistemologies and practices and national science standards within four specific Indigenous contexts and expand space for tribal-lead professional development to transform teacher classroom practice.