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.
The Oceans of Data project aims to find out how research on learning can inform the design of interfaces and technology tools to enable high school students to access and use scientific data gained from science cyberinfrastructure projects.
To accomplish this goal, project staff will
Perform a literature review
Interview experts from relevant disciplines, such as climate science, mathematics education, and visual analytics
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.
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
This project tests the efficacy of the Foundations of Science Literacy (FSL) professional development program that was developed for use with Head Start teachers.
By focusing on the Head Start community, FSL addresses the achievement gap in early science education by providing a framework for teachers to learn and implement preschool science instructional practices in classrooms serving children from low-income backgrounds.
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.
The Technology Tools for Teaching and Training (dot-EDU T4) project seeks to assist the education departments in the Indian states of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Delhi, for quality teaching and learning for the primary education sector. To this end, dot-EDU T4 has created interactive, multimedia tools in audio, video, and software formats that established new standards for education quality while delivering education services on a large scale and reaching out to girls and other vulnerable populations.
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.
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.
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.
Foundations of Science Literacy (FSL) is a comprehensive professional development program in science for preschool teachers. FSL integrates college-level coursework, mentoring, a nationally recognized science curriculum, and classroom-based assignments. The project’s goal is to support teachers’ abilities to create a classroom culture of inquiry and to engage their young students in authentic “minds-on” science explorations.
Cultivating Young Scientists (CYS) is funded by the Institute for Education Sciences, and builds upon FSL. CYS offers three major innovations:
The NASA Explorer Schools Project offers teachers and schools around the country curriculum support materials and opportunities designed around NASA’s unique mission of research and discovery. EDC will work as a subcontractor to Abt Associates, Inc. to assist in their evaluation of this project. EDC’s role will include contributions to the design of the logic model and formative and summative evaluation instruments, and data collection and analysis.
In collaboration with SRI International and NASA, EDC will develop and pilot two high school level interactive websites for climate change investigations.
With these websites, high school teachers will be able to compile customized data sets on local climate change using NASA’s Goddard Interactive Online Visualization and Analysis Infrastructure (Giovanni), which contains archived Earth observation mission data. Created for scientists, the Giovanni data sets will be adapted for high school students and teachers.
This project is evaluating the Talk Science! program, led by TERC, which strives to study and enhance the development of teachers’ skills in managing productive classroom talk in inquiry-based science.
The Talk Science! project will document teachers’ learning and study the changes in discussion patterns in 18 science classrooms in urban, suburban, and rural schools. The project’s hypothesis is that aligning professional learning with conceptually driven curricula and emphasizing the development of scientific discourse will change classroom culture and increase student learning.