Projects

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

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 aims to create and test an innovative educational approach for bringing STEM learning experiences to underserved youth. It will co-create and study an outdoor robotic-augmented playground called the “Smart Playground” and a corresponding series of classroom lessons. The Smart Playground will be co-designed with Latinx families and educators to engage children in developing computational thinking skills and learning about robotics in a physical environment using a culturally sustaining approach. Research and evaluation will examine whether exposure to the Smart Playground and corresponding classroom activities have an impact on the development of computational thinking in young children.

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

This project aims to create and test an innovative educational approach for bringing STEM learning experiences to underserved youth. It will co-create and study an outdoor robotic-augmented playground called the “Smart Playground” and a corresponding series of classroom lessons. The Smart Playground will be co-designed with Latinx families and educators to engage children in developing computational thinking skills and learning about robotics in a physical environment using a culturally sustaining approach. Research and evaluation will examine whether exposure to the Smart Playground and corresponding classroom activities have an impact on the development of computational thinking in young children.

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 aims to create and test an innovative educational approach for bringing STEM learning experiences to underserved youth. It will co-create and study an outdoor robotic-augmented playground called the “Smart Playground” and a corresponding series of classroom lessons. The Smart Playground will be co-designed with Latinx families and educators to engage children in developing computational thinking skills and learning about robotics in a physical environment using a culturally sustaining approach. Research and evaluation will examine whether exposure to the Smart Playground and corresponding classroom activities have an impact on the development of computational thinking in young children.

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.

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

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.

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

The focus of this project is the design of learning experiences in different high school science courses to help students gain experience in computational thinking. The project uses a partnership between two universities and school district to develop and refine the units as a collaboration between researchers, teachers, and school leaders. The goal is to help all students have opportunities to learn about computational thinking in multiple science courses.

07/15/2022

Understanding probability is essential for daily life. Probabilistic reasoning is critical in decision making not only for people but also for artificial intelligence (AI). AI sets a modern context to connect probability concepts to real-life situations. It also provides unique opportunities for reciprocal learning that can advance student understanding of both AI systems and probabilistic reasoning. This project aims to improve the current practice of high school probability education and to design AI problem-solving to connect probability and AI concepts. Set in a game-based environment, students learn and practice applying probability theory while exploring the world of probability-based AI algorithms to solve problems that are meaningful and relevant to them.

07/15/2022

Understanding probability is essential for daily life. Probabilistic reasoning is critical in decision making not only for people but also for artificial intelligence (AI). AI sets a modern context to connect probability concepts to real-life situations. It also provides unique opportunities for reciprocal learning that can advance student understanding of both AI systems and probabilistic reasoning. This project aims to improve the current practice of high school probability education and to design AI problem-solving to connect probability and AI concepts. Set in a game-based environment, students learn and practice applying probability theory while exploring the world of probability-based AI algorithms to solve problems that are meaningful and relevant to them.

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.

07/01/2022

This project is working to develop, implement, and research the introduction of data experiences and practices into a series of interdisciplinary, middle school project-based learning modules. The project examines how interdisciplinary data education can provide opportunities for students to take more control of their own learning and develop positive identities related to data, through integration with social studies and science topics. Curriculum modules and teaching resources produced by the project serve as guides for subsequent efforts at integrating data science concepts into teaching and learning in various subject areas.

07/01/2022

This project builds on a successful introductory computer science curriculum, called Scratch Encore, to explore ways to support teachers in bringing together—or harmonizing—existing Scratch Encore instructional materials with themes that reflect the interests, cultures, and experiences of their students, schools, and communities. In designing these harmonized lessons, teachers create customized activities that resonate with their students while retaining the structure and content of the original Scratch Encore lesson.

03/15/2022

Building on the team's prior research from early in the pandemic, this project team will continue to collect data from families and aims to understand parents’ perspectives on the educational impacts of COVID-19 by leveraging a nationally representative, longitudinal study, the Understanding America Study (UAS). The study will track educational experiences during the spring and summer of 2022 and into the 2022-23 school year. The team will analyze student and family overall and for key demographic groups of interest as schooling during the pandemic continues. This RAPID project allows critically important data to continue to be collected and contribute to continued understanding of the impacts of and responses to the pandemic by American families.

10/01/2021

CADRE is the resource network that supports researchers and developers who participate in DRK-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 DRK-12 program, and builds new knowledge.

09/01/2021

This project will study the utility of a machine learning-based assessment system for supporting middle school science teachers in making instructional decisions based on automatically generated student reports (AutoRs). The assessments target three-dimensional (3D) science learning by requiring students to integrate scientific practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas to make sense of phenomena or solve complex problems.

09/01/2021

This project explores how to help teachers identify and support early elementary children’s emergent computational thinking. The project will engage researchers, professional development providers, and early elementary teachers (K-2) in a collaborative research and development process to design a scalable professional development experience for grade K-2 teachers. The project will field test and conduct research on the artifacts, facilitation strategies, and modes of interaction that effectively prepare K-2 teachers to learn about their students’ emergent use of computational thinking strategies.