The Micro- and Nano-space Explorations of Health and Disease (MNEHD) project is part of the University of Southern Maine’s initiative to incorporate the health science-related studies of microbiology, nanotechnology, and electron microscopy into bioscience education.
This project is developing activity materials for informal science educators who work with middle school youth as they investigate nature. It also involves controlled applied research to study how different modes of visual representations and the units impact the attitudes of the participating youth and their preparation for future learning.
Collaborators on this project are Program Evaluation and Research Group (PERG), Boston Nature Center, and the University of New Hampshire 4-H.
The Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands (REL-NEI) is one of ten regional laboratories and has a mission to help pre-K–16 educators use the best available evidence to make decisions leading to improved student achievement and reduced performance gaps.
Scratch, developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, allows young people to program their own interactive stories, games, animations, and simulations, and share their creations with one another on the Web. In the process, they have opportunities to learn important mathematical and computational concepts, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively-essential skills for success in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) workforce of the 21st century.
This study will examine what factors enhance, or undermine, researchers’ ability to maintain honesty in the ways in which they conduct research. It will take place within a set of research centers, where scientists who do laboratory work are expected to collaborate with researchers who conduct human studies. Findings will help to improve professional education of scientists and enhance research integrity among scientists.
EDC is examining the ways that ITEST (Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers) for teacher education projects leads to changes in classroom practice.
Specifically, the project seeks to understand what kinds of professional development activities promote and/or influence changes in teaching practices and the integration of innovative technologies in the classroom.
Under a previous National Science Foundation grant, EDC is developing the Inquiry Science Instruction Observation Protocol (ISIOP). This instrument will help evaluators and researchers determine the nature and extent of scientific inquiry instruction and the best practices used in teaching middle grades science.
Writers’ Express (WEX) is a year-long writing program for students in grades 3-12 and is supported through professional development for teachers and school administrators. EDC is conducting a research study to determine whether the program is effective for students in elementary schools.
In this study:
70 Massachusetts schools will be randomly selected to either implement the WEX program or use the usual grade 4 writing instruction.
EDC will evaluate the WEX curriculum, materials, instructional practices, and embedded professional development.
In this project, adolescents with cystic fibrosis (CF) discuss their experiences with their disease and treatment regimen through the creation and sharing of illness and self-management video portraits.
Each video assignment will ask teens to:
Show and tell how they handle some key aspect of self-management (e.g., taking enzymes at school)
Explore how they handle key self-management skills
Develop a short narrative reflection on the impact that self-management issues have on their quality of life, goals for the future, and relationship with their parents.
This rigorous three-arm randomized experiment tests whether an innovative multi-year parent-mediated HIV intervention, Preparing Our Sons and Daughters for Healthy Futures, reduces HIV risks among African American youth living in high-poverty urban neighborhoods. About 1500 families with 6th graders in New York City public schools are being enrolled and will be followed through 9th grade.
The Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program is designed to increase opportunities for students and teachers to learn about and use information technologies within the contexts of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Youth-based projects that have strong emphases on career and educational paths
EQuALLS2 increases access to quality basic education and livelihood skills in areas most affected by conflict and poverty in the Philippines (primarily the Muslim areas in the Mindanao island group in the south). EQuALLS2 is a large-scale project that seeks to benefit 345,000 children and youth in 37 municipalities and four cities by training 37,238 educators and school officials, building the capacity of 850 local education stakeholder groups, and expanding local education resources through public-private partnerships.
The Partnership to Improve Student Achievement in Physical Science: Integrating STEM Approaches (PISA2), a project of the Center for Innovation in Engineering & Science Education at Stevens Institute of Technology, is working with 12 districts throughout New Jersey to provide graduate training in physical and earth sciences and professional development to 400 in-service elementary and middle-school teachers and 120 school leaders over the next five years. EDC serves as the external evaluator for PISA2.
This project, through a cooperative agreement with the NSF, is establishing and maintaining the Discovery Research (DR) K–12 learning resource network, known as CADRE, with the aim of advancing the state of research and evaluation in STEM education and promoting the goals of the DR K–12 program. CADRE provides support services to grantees of this program, which enhances student and teacher learning of the STEM disciplines through the development, implementation, and study of resources, models, and technologies.
CME Project Mathematical Practices Implementation (MPI) Study is a four-year, mixed-methods research study looking at teachers’ implementation of the CME Project, a high school mathematics curriculum organized around mathematical habits of mind.
The MPI study will examine:
Teachers’ use of the CME Project
The role of the CME curriculum in the mathematics classroom
EDC’s accompanying professional development in supporting teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching
This project develops, implements, and studies a dual model of professional development that adds an online platform to traditional professional development: the Active Physics Teacher Community (APTC).
The Boston Science Partnership was a five-year NSF-funded Math and Science Partnership project designed to improve science teaching and learning in Boston’s middle and high schools, enhance university-level teaching by STEM faculty, and ensure the university partners’ continued support for and faculty involvement in science education. The Boston Public Schools, the University of Massachusetts Boston, and Northeastern University are the principal partners. Harvard Medical School and the College Board participate as supporting partners.
Information from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center at EDC is cited in this story about state-mandated training for suicide prevention. Since 2007, Utah and 11 other states have approved versions of the Jason Flatt Act, which requires states to provide suicide awareness training to school employees, including teachers, nurses, counselors, school psychologists and administrators.
In his Curriculum Matters blog, reporter Erik Robelen talks to EDC’s Ruth Krumhansl about the launch of the new Oceans of Data Institute, as well as a number of other EDC efforts that are helping schools make use of big data in the classroom.
EDC is part of the winning team to receive a two-year, $1 million Fast Track Award from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences to create and study a tablet-based interactive digital game for middle school history classrooms.