Spotlights on STEM Education Topics

CADRE's Spotlights explore important themes in K-12 STEM education research and development by highlighting DRK-12 project contributions, community perspectives, and important resources.

Adapting Research Amid COVID-19 (2020)

In this Spotlight, four projects share the changes they made to their questions and/or collection, measurement, and analysis of data in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Algebra Education in DRK-12 (2019)

Learn about DRK-12 projects that are promoting access to and success in algebra through pre-service training and professional learning opportunities for teachers, instructional materials, assessments, learning technologies, interventions for at-risk students, and other innovations.

Analyzing & Interpreting Data Across STEM Disciplines (2020)

The demand for data skills is growing across industries and disciplines. Understanding how to analyze and interpret data will not only be critical for students as they enter the workforce, but also as they grapple with complex issues, such as the COVID-19 pandemic or climate change. This Spotlight features 16 DRK-12 projects that are building students' data skills through research and innovative curriculum and tools.

Argumentation, Critique, & Other Discursive STEM Practices (2018)

This Spotlight highlights DRK-12 STEM resourcescurriculumprofessional development, as well as articles, books & papersthat support argumentation, critique, and discourse in the classroom, and in research and development.

Astronomy & Space Sciences (2021)

Explore the opportunities, challenges, research and products at the frontiers of astronomy and space sciences in STEM education.

Broadening Participation in STEM (2018)

This Spotlight highlights opportunities, resources, and projects that aim to increase involvement in STEM.

Citizen Science in K-12 STEM Education (2019)

Citizen Science and crowdsourcing projects enable the public—young and old, students and teachers, amateur and expert—to participate in scientific data collection and research. In this Spotlight, you'll read about five projects funded by NSF's DRK-12 program to support STEM learning and discovery through Citizen Science projects.

Computer Science and Computational Thinking (2020)

This Spotlight explores work with K-12 students and teachers to promote computer science and computational thinking across academic disciplines.

Conferences and Workshops Organized by DRK-12 Projects (2021)

This Spotlight highlights the work of DRK-12 project focused on organizing conferences or workshops to advance their work and the STEM education field.

COVID-19 and Online Learning (2020)

This Spotlight shares online learning resources including activities, tools, and tips to support remote student learning and teacher development.

Culturally Responsive STEM Education (2019)

In this Spotlight, learn about culturally responsive PreK-12 STEM education and DRK-12 projects researching culturally responsive instruction, curricula, and assessment.

Curricula & Resources for Educators (2021)

A collection of STEM+C lessons, apps, professional learning materials, and other educator resources created by DRK-12 projects.

Curriculum: Practitioner Selection, Adaptation, and Design (2019)

This spotlight explores the role of educators in creating quality and coherent curricula in today's science and mathematics classrooms. Two blog posts examine the importance of curriculum coherence (one in the context of science, the other in mathematics), and four projects describe their efforts to support and empower practitioners in this area.

DRK-12 CAREER Awards (2021)

Hear from 27 DRK-12 CAREER Awardees about their work, plus advice on developing a proposal and managing an NSF grant.

Early Childhood Education (2020)

In this Spotlight, explore NSF-funded projects and resources that focus on early learning opportunities.

Earth and Environmental Science (2021)

This Spotlight features DRK-12 innovations and research designed to help students understand complex Earth and Environmental Science topics such as natural phenomena, ecosystems, and human impact on our environment.

Engineering Education (2019)

This Spotlight provides examples of preK-12 NSF-funded programs that show promise for educating future generations of scientifically literate and engineering-talented adults.

English Language Learners (2020)

This Spotlight features DRK-12-funded projects that are researching and developing approaches to improving STEM learning for students classified as English language learners (ELLs) or English learners (ELs). 

Environmental/Earth Science Projects and NGSS (2015)

In this Spotlight, DRK-12 project teams present their environmental and earth science work to illustrate how to integrate the three dimensions of NGSS.

Games & Simulations (2015)

In this spotlight, explore DRK-12 games and simulations designed to support science and math learning.

Informal & Formal STEM Education (2021)

This Spotlight examines connections between formal STEM education and learning supported by museums, science centers, families, communities, and other informal settings that are part of the STEM education ecosystem.

Mentoring (2019)

This Spotlight features resources on mentoring strategies and plans.

Modeling in Science & Mathematics Education (2020)

This Spotlight highlights resources and research to support modeling in science and mathematics classrooms.

NSF STEM for All Video Showcase (2021)

The STEM for All Video Showcase is an annual event held in May. NSF-funded projects are invited to submit 3-minute videos showcasing their work. During the virtual event, thousands of attendees viewed videos, voted on their favorite videos, and interacted with presenters asking questions and commenting. View Spotlights on the 2015-20 Video Showcases featuring the DRK-12 projects that participated. 

Online and Blended Professional Development (2017)

This Spotlight offers grantee perspectives on the current state of STEM professional development (PD) and highlights DRK-12 contributions in the area of online and blended PD.

Problem Solving in STEM Education (2020)

This Spotlight showcases DRK-12 projects that are researching and developing innovations that support and leverage problem solving in computer science, engineering, mathematics, and science.

Replication & Building Evidence (2020)

This Spotlight features perspectives, research, and resources related to building evidence in STEM education, particularly by means of replication.

Rural STEM Education (2019)

Explore how DRK-12 projects are increasing access to resources and opportunities in rural communities that can improve student achievement and representation in STEM.

STEM Pathways (2019)

Examine STEM pathway and workforce development in PreK-12, including projects that are researching and innovating approaches that allow and encourage all students to pursue continued study or careers in STEM.

Story in STEM Education (2014)

In this Spotlight, listen to PIs Roy Gould and Jackie Miller discuss their work and explore the question, "Why is story such a powerful tool in the classroom?"

Supporting Students with Disabilities (2021)

This Spotlight features DRK-12 projects that are addressing approaches and developing tools to support STEM teaching and learning for students with disabilities.

Sustaining and Scaling Professional Development (2021)

Explore innovations, research, and advice around creating sustainable professional development programs or scaling interventions to broaden their impacts on STEM teaching and learning.

Systemic Reform (2019)

In this Spotlight, explore the types of partnerships, methodologies, theoretical frameworks, challenges and strategies that support work enacting reforms on a systemic level. This Spotlight includes a perspective piece by Suzanne Donovan and Alan Schoenfeld, highlights the work of seven projects, and offers additional resources for those interested in learning more.

Teacher Content Knowledge (2020)

Learn about projects developing and studying models and resources to improve and assess teachers' knowledge for teaching science, mathematics, and computer science.

Teacher Preparation Models and Programs (2018)

This Spotlight features a range of DRK-12 projects that are designing, implementing, and/or studying preservice teacher programs in STEM disciplines.

Teaching and Learning About Infectious Diseases (2020)

This spotlight features products and findings from DRK-12 projects funded to educate the public about Ebola virus and other infectious diseases as well as support students, teachers, and administrators as consumers of information.

Technology-Enhanced Assessment (2019)

Explore projects using technology to transform the assessment of student and teacher learning as well as advance the field of educational measurement.

Visual Representations in Mathematics (2018)

In this Spotlight, five DRK-12 projects discuss the role of visual representations (VRs) in their work, how VRs are being implemented and tested, as well as emerging findings.

Women and Girls in STEM (2019)

This spotlight features DRK-12 projects working on solutions to engage and support women in STEM fields.