The FunWorks is a digital library of career exploration resources for youth ages 11 to 15. The FunWorks provides “real world” experiences and uses children’s current interests and passions, such as music and sports, to help them explore exciting future careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The site was designed for and by children—over 300 young people have participated in the design and launch of this one-of-a-kind collection from the initial concept to design, usability testing, and launch.
CC&F/EDC and its partners are collaborating on this planning grant. Each institution is conducting a small-scale research project that builds on its current curriculum work. Extending the work of the Tool Kit for Early Childhood Science Education project, CC&F/EDC is developing tools that can be used to examine the effectiveness of early childhood teaching and learning in the Young Scientist Series.
This three-year research project, funded through the NSF’s Evaluation Capacity Building program, is developing and rigorously testing the Inquiring into Science Instruction Observation Protocol (ISIOP), which helps evaluators determine the nature of inquiry science instruction and the extent to which elements of it are present in middle school classroom teaching. The protocol relies on work from two other projects at EDC—Inquiry Synthesis and the Middle-Grades Science Mentoring Program—in addition to existing instruments from other researchers.
This project addressed gaps in the current state assessment system and explored the following questions: Where are the gaps in the assessment system? Who are the students affected by these gaps? What are the appropriate assessment systems for students in the gaps? After answering these questions, the project developed and piloted an assessment prototype to address the problem and meet student needs. Completed research studies are available on the project Web site.
EDC serves as the external evaluator for the University of Connecticut’s School Structure and Science Success project. The evaluation will focus on both the process and progress towards evaluation goals, such as (1) whether the project implementation is proceeding as planned; (2) to what extent the goals are being met; and (3) what the impact and value are of different aspects of the project.
The ITEST (Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers ) Learning Resource Center at EDC held a convening to develop a theoretical research framework to guide future research on youth motivation in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), with a particular emphasis on populations most underrepresented in the STEM workforce.
Participants focused on two guiding questions:
What is currently known about motivation in STEM for underrepresented youth?
What can be done to cultivate new research around STEM motivation for underrepresented youth?
The National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness will provide research-based strategies for working with children who speak languages other than English in classrooms and other learning environments.
The goals of the Center are as follows:
Promote research-based educational practices
Ensure that linguistically and culturally diverse preschool children and their families receive optimal support
Conduct national training events to advance understanding of how culture and dual language development in children affect learning
The National Center on Scaling Up Effective Schools (NCSU), located at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College, is identifying practices and policies that make some high schools more successful than others at improving outcomes for low-income and minority students. Once researchers identify these effective practices, they will develop ways to transfer them to other schools in the same systems.
EDC is facilitating a policy development project to promote mental health assessments and improve access to mental health services for youth suspended or expelled from California schools. After an analysis of current school district policies on suspension and expulsion from data and focus groups, EDC will determine policy and program recommendations that enable students to receive necessary mental health services in an effort to reduce dropout rates and disparities in access to services.
The Living Room Candidate is an online exhibition developed by the Museum of the Moving Image that presents more than 250 television commercials from every U.S. presidential election since 1952. The site includes a searchable database and features commentary, historical background, election results, and navigation organized by both year and theme.
EDC is conducting a two-year pilot study to address critical methodological challenges inherent in doing longitudinal research linking informal science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) experiences and school achievement: first, addressing selection bias through careful selection of a comparison group that is comparable to the intervention group, and second, developing a qualitative design that both complements and extends the quantitative data collected.
The MetroWest Youth Risk Behavior Survey is a 10-year initiative of the Massachusetts-based MetroWest Community Health Care Foundation to better understand and address the health needs of adolescents in the region.
Surveys are conducted biannually with middle and high school students and focus on issues such as:
Leading causes of morbidity and mortality among adolescents
EDC has produced a dissemination package for Safe in the City, a brief video-based HIV/STD prevention intervention for STD clinics. In a large, multi-site efficacy trial, Safe in the City was found to be effective in reducing new cases of STDs among clinic patients. The intervention has been selected for national dissemination through CDC’s Diffusion of Effective Behavioral Interventions program. EDC was a collaborating partner in the development and evaluation of this intervention.
EDC is working with the Women’s Health Sciences Division of the National Center for PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) to support the national implementation of Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) within the Veterans Health Administration.
EDC will develop print, video, and online training materials for CPT, as well as conduct a national survey of returning veterans to assess issues related to military sexual trauma.
The City of Chicago has announced it will create five new “early college” STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) schools for grades 9–14, based on the model of Brooklyn’s Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH). EDC worked with the New York City Department of Education, IBM, and others to document the design and launch of P-Tech, as well as its first year in operation. EDC compiled lessons learned as the basis of the STEM Pathways to College and Careers School Guide—the IBM Playbook, which will be used to help guide Chicago in setting up the new schools.
EDC has been invited to participate in an academic symposium on ways to reach youth and promote a culture free from bullying, which is part of the national launch of the Born This Way Foundation by pop star Lady Gaga.
Public Television Channel THIRTEEN (WNET/NY) is launching Flight to Freedom, its second free interactive history game in its “Mission US” series. An EDC study of the first game in the series found “measurable gains in students’ historical knowledge and skills,” and found positive feedback from teachers.