Spotlights on STEM Education Research

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.

While many of the Spotlights cover cross-cutting topics, such as professional development or culturally relevant instruction, other Spotlights are focused on disciplines or subdisciplines (e.g. computer science, astronomy), STEM practices (e.g. modeling, problem solving), or project design & implementation (e.g. replication, CAREER awards).

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.

Astronomy & Space Sciences (2021)

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

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.

Climate Science Education (2023)

This month’s spotlight showcases DRK-12 projects that are supporting students and teachers in learning and teaching about climate science’s impacts and phenomena.

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.

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.

Inclusive Mathematics Education (2023)

Learn about DRK-12 projects that are promoting equitable and inclusive mathematics education through research on teacher education, instructional practices, learning experiences, and assessments that support success and achievement in mathematics for all students.

Social Studies and STEM Integration (2024)

This Spotlight features projects that are integrating social studies with STEM learning and practices.

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.

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.