Robert Gibbs


University of Arizona (U of A)

This project will implement and study a professional community designed to alleviate the mismatch between the expectations of student teachers in mathematics and science and their mentor in-service teachers. The project is creating a neutral forum for the exchange of perspectives on issues of pedagogy with the expectation that student teachers would implement inquiry-based science and problem-solving mathematics pedagogies with the knowledgeable support of their mentor teachers.


This project develops tools and materials that address the need schools have to implement results-oriented teacher learning programs that ensure highly qualified science teachers in every classroom. The project will (1) develop and disseminate the Building Systems for Quality Teaching and Learning in Science Simulation and Facilitator Guide, and (2) develop and disseminate three Building Systems for Science Learning Modules.

Michigan State University (MSU), Grand Valley State University (GVSU)

The research goal of this project is to evaluate whether an early childhood science education program, implemented in low-income preschool settings produces measurable impacts for children, teachers, and parents. The study is determining the efficacy of the program on Science curriculum in two models, one in which teachers participate in professional development activities (the intervention), and another in which teachers receive the curriculum and teachers' guide but no professional development (the control).

Iowa State University

This conference, convened in May 2008, produced a conceptual framework, a research agenda, and an instructional unit for elementary mathematics methods classes. A total of 35 participants were invited to attend, and participating faculty members were asked to bring a graduate student. The conference was scheduled for 2.5 days supplemented with significant pre-conference and post-conference activities.

Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC)

This project is developing multi-media professional development resources that will enhance PreK-8 teachers' understanding of how to employ instructional strategies from the field of literacy in developing students' scientific understanding. Four modules are resources on specific uses of science literacy; four are case studies offering examples of best practices, including video components. The 9th module provides an introduction to the theoretical underpinnings and research studies that support linking science and literacy.

Seattle Public Schools

This project is developing professional resources to help elementary teachers strengthen their students' writing skills, particularly writing in science notebooks. The proposed resources would include print and multi-media formats for teachers and handbooks for their professional development providers.

TERC, Inc.

This project investigated the potential opportunities and challenges for educators to incorporate explorations of a variety of large data sets into science, math and, to a lesser extent, social science classes at the secondary level.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
This is a continuing research project that supports (1) creation of what are termed "ink inscriptions"--handwritten sketches, graphs, maps, notes, etc. made on a computer using a pen-based interface, and (2) in-class communication of ink inscriptions via a set of connected wireless tablet computers. The primary products are substantiated research findings on the use of tablet computers and inscriptions in 4th and 5th grade math and science, as well as models for teacher education and use.
American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Michigan State University (MSU)

This project hypothesizes that learners must have access to the real work of scientists if they are to learn both about the nature of science and to do inquiry themselves. It explores the question "How can informal science education institutions best design resources to support teachers, school administrators, and families in the teaching and learning of students to conduct scientific investigations and better understand the nature of science?"

Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McRel)

This project is exploring the introduction of a nanoscience curriculum into high schools. It is creating and studying a professional development model based on two products, the NanoTeach Teacher's Guide and the NanoTeach Facilitator's Guide. The NanoTeach Teacher's guide is being designed for self study by teachers (low treatment group) and for use in a facilitated development model (high treatment group). The NanoTeach Facilitator's Guide outlines the professional development experiences and provides guidance for facilitators.

Northwestern University (NU)
The Nanoscale Science and Engineering Education (NSEE) Center for Learning and Teaching (NCLT) would focus on the research and development of nano-science instructional resources for grades 7-16, related professional development opportunities for 7-12 teachers, and programs infused with nano-science content for education doctoral students.

This research study is examining the persistence of improved teacher skills achieved during the K-2 Science & Technology Assistance for Rural Teachers and Small Districts project (K-2 STARTS). K-2 STARTS provided four years of professional development to teachers in 16 rural school districts with high populations of traditionally underserved students. Project data indicates that the project increased teacher content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, abilities to integrate science and literacy and to use research-based instructional strategies.

University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc. (UGARF), University of Georgia (UGA)

This project examines the effect of four different types of induction programs (district-based, e-mentoring, university-based, intern programs) on 100 5th year teachers of secondary science. The teachers involved in the study have participated in a previous study during their first three years of teaching.

The City College of New York, CUNY

This project creates eight half-year units in two subject areas—Force and Motion, and Energy Systems— for three grade bands, pre-K–1, 2-3 and 4–6. These projects integrate engineering, science, math literacy and art in the context of design, construction and testing of toys using inexpensive or recycled materials.

University of Northern Iowa (UNI)

This project is creating age-appropriate physical science curriculum that uses balls rolling on student-constructed ramps for children age 3-8 years. Students are expected to develop practical understanding of the movement of objects along ramps and pathways that leads to knowledge about concepts of forces and motion. They will improve their ability to engage in scientific inquiry and solve engineering problems related to ramp structures, and develop positive attitudes about science and themselves as science learners.

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

This project employs sensing technologies to help transform students' physical actions during play into a set of symbolic (computer) representations in a physics simulation and to engage the children in a developmentally appropriate and powerful form of scientific modeling. The students are in grades K–1 at UCLA's elementary school, and the intervention is based on the existing content unit on Force and Motion.

Concord Consortium

Concord Consortium is exploring K-2 students' understanding of heat and temperature in two Massachusetts school districts using sensors that display temperatures as colors. Exploration activities are being created, and students are being videotaped carrying out the activities. Students complete a short assessment for each activity. The exploration activities, assessments, and project data are available via open source through a website at Concord Consortium and are being presented to multiple professional audiences.

East Tennessee State University

SciMath-DLL is an innovative preschool professional development (PD) model that integrates supports for DLLs with high quality science and mathematics instructional offerings. It engages teachers with workshops, classroom-based coaching, and professional learning communities. By creating a suite of tools that can be used under differing educational circumstances to improve professional knowledge, skill, and practice around STEM, the project increases the number of teachers who are prepared to support children as STEM learners and, thus, the number of children who can be supported as STEM learners.

Temple University

This project studies the impact of emphasizing formative assessment strategies in concurrent undergraduate methods courses and STEM content courses on the subsequent teaching practices of these pre-service teachers and their students. The study focuses on future middle school STEM teachers. The mixed methods research design will examine the impact of the treatment on teachers' practices during their practicum and induction years and on the STEM achievement of their middle school students.

Kent State University

This project is developing a data literacy curriculum for 7th grade students which is composed of four two-week units to be taught in social studies, mathematics, science and English courses. The curriculum utilizes data on water use and quality in Ohio, chosen because other communities will have comparable data to modify the curriculum to meet their needs. Central to the curriculum are the issue of fairness and how data are used to make societal decisions.

University of Iowa (UI)

This project proposes to create two books and a professional development manual about the roles and practice of writing-to-learn strategies in science classrooms. The books will emphasize the importance of purposeful writing as a learning tool. The first book will target K-6 teachers and the second will address the needs of 7-12 teachers.