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.
The Ecosystems and Evidence project, a collaborative exploratory research and development project in partnership with Rutgers University and the Institute of Ecosystem Studies, addresses the question:
“Can students gain an understanding of the nature of ecological science (NOES) in high school biology and environmental science classes that is useful and productive in guiding them toward environmental citizenship?”
To address this question, the project will:
Identify the essential elements of NOES
Investigate how these elements can be taught and learned
EDC is a partner in the launch of a new Center for Innovative Research in Cyberlearning (CIRCL), an initiative led by California-based SRI International in collaboration with NORC at the University of Chicago. The five-year, $4.5 million effort is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Cyberlearning program.
Working with science and education professionals, a group of youths will design, build, and staff a virtual science center. Over the course of the project, the youth will acquire Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) knowledge and a range of information and communication technology (ICT) competencies. EDC will conduct the project’s evaluation, looking at the youth’s understanding of science concepts and their development and articulation of ICT workforce skills.
This project will develop and test a Web-based innovative analytics assessment system that will give students and teachers immediate feedback and just-in-time support to advance science literacy and science learning.
EDC’s role is to author universal design elements into four learning experiences from Foundation Science: Physics.
EDC is cosponsoring the 9th annual Massachusetts STEM Summit for policymakers, educators, and business leaders to discuss education initiatives in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and progress on implementation of the statewide STEM plan. The summit will be held October 18 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
How can digital games support conceptual learning? And how can games be made accessible and useful for teachers? Those are the questions addressed by Possible Worlds, a five-year research and development effort led by EDC.
EDC and the Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) in Berkeley, California, are leading a national initiative to promote long-term professional development in project-based science for afterschool program providers.
The project is developing materials and training institutes to support a network of professional trainers from children’s museums, science centers, and 4-H affiliates across the country. These trainers will provide training and support to community-based organizations that implement high-quality, hands-on science and engineering projects for children.
This project is conducting a formative and summative evaluation of the Maine ScienceCorps.
A project of the biosciences community at the University of Southern Maine (USM) and the Education Division of the Foundation for Blood Research, Maine ScienceCorps works with university professors, teaching fellows, and over 30 teachers across the state. Teachers and researchers bring authentic lab experiences—involving nucleic acids, proteins, microbes, viruses, human disease, and immune responses—to over 2,500 students.
Electronic Teacher’s Guide, or eTG, is a research and development project of EDC. The aim of eTG is to enhance the ability of teachers to provide science education.
The project will:
Develop a prototype eTG
Conduct classroom-based studies to determine the impact of eTG on teachers’ learning and practice, particularly in relation to the fidelity with which teachers modify and adapt instructional materials at the secondary level
Be a Scientist! is a full-scale development project that examines the impact of a scalable STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) afterschool program that trains engineers to develop and teach inquiry-based Family Science Workshops (FSWs) in underserved communities.
The project targets underserved youth in grades 1–5 in Los Angeles and New York, their parents, and engineering professionals. The science activities are provided in a series of FSWs that occur in afterschool programs in eight partner schools in Los Angeles and at the New York Hall of Science in New York City.
The project’s multidisciplinary research and development team has been investigating whether the integration of a specific kind of computational model i.e., simulations into a high school science curriculum, can support students from diverse academic, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds in developing computational literacy—a capacity to understand relationships between domain knowledge and the mathematical, algorithmic, and modeling processes that are the building blocks of computational science.
Through the Math and Science Partnership (MSP) Knowledge Management and Dissemination (KMD) project, EDC collects, synthesizes, and shares knowledge from the field of mathematics and science education and MSPs.
In this project, CSE draws on its own and other resources at EDC to provide technical assistance to the management of the Presidential Award program. Every year, that program honors exceptional science and mathematics teachers from every state. CSE facilitates the program’s work in several ways. Staff connects the project with national science and mathematics leaders who take a role in the awards process.
This project established a model program for developing and supporting middle-grades science mentor-teachers. The project team worked closely with a group of experienced science teachers to improve their skills, knowledge, and confidence so they can effectively support novice science teachers from 10 to 12 demographically diverse school districts. Based on this model, CSE is developing a Facilitator’s Guide and accompanying videotapes. The model has been adapted in Cleveland, Ohio, Orlando, Florida (through the University of Central Florida) and Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico.
ScienceQuest was a unique after-school program that supported community-based organizations who wanted to increase staff and organizational capacity; assisted youth (ages 10–14) in learning science, technology, and literacy; and increased the youths’ positive experiences with learning. Through training in I-Search methods and ongoing in-person and electronic support, coaches lead small groups in personally relevant explorations documented through youth-designed Web sites.