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.
The National Science Foundation has funded the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Local Systemic Change (LSC) and Urban Systemic Programs in K–12 mathematics and science. EDC is performing an evaluation of the programs. The evaluation is formative, shaping the work of teachers, teacher leaders, and administrators, and summative, looking at the impact of the work on teaching, learning, and district policies.
The Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies (Ford PAS) program includes an interdisciplinary high school curriculum that challenges students academically while also developing their problem-solving, teamwork, and communication skills.
Through its national network of school districts, CSE created and disseminated Selecting Computer-Based High School Science Curricula: A Guide for Teachers. The guide enables teachers to maximize the growing and considerable investment this country is making in technology. Research shows that a scientific and technical education is critical for students to function in and contribute to society. The guide is available through the CSE Web site.
In this project, EDC staff synthesize research, undertaken since 1984, that examines the impact of inquiry science instruction on student outcomes. A range of studies are included, such as quantitative and qualitative research, formal experimental models, ethnographies, dissertations, and teacher-led studies. This project increases understanding of inquiry’s impact and helps explain the reasons for its effects.
Yes-2-Technology (Y2T) is a physical, life and earth science, IT and workforce development project for teens at the St. Louis Science Center. Funded by NSF’s ITEST program, the goal of the project is to provide disadvantaged teens with the opportunity to broaden their STEM and workplace skills and encourage them to consider further education and careers in IT or STEM.
The WEEA Equity Resource Center was a national center that for 25 years promoted gender-equitable education for all students. The center offered educators and others a range of resources to help make gender equity a reality in the classroom and in educational systems, focusing especially on equity for girls and women who face multiple barriers due to gender and race, ethnic origin, disability, or age. The center’s funding ended in 2003 and select resources and information continue to be available through the achieved Web site.
EDC created this K–6 standards-based science curriculum, whose topics reflect a balance of life, physical, and earth sciences. The 17 modules and accompanying kits provide a hands-on, inquiry-based approach that builds skills and explores concepts through exciting science experiences. The curriculum, published by Kendall/Hunt, was revised in 2004. Four new modules are currently in production.
EDC developed and field-tested this biology curriculum for grades 9 and 10. The curriculum addresses the needs of all students and connects understanding of core biological principles with applications to social, health, economic, and other critical issues. The curriculum, published by Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, includes an implementation guide to support users.
EDC is collaborating with three universities to study how classroom teachers in grades four through eight can provide access to a rigorous, standards-based curriculum to students with disabilities. Over five years, REACH is developing and studying instructional approaches that support all students as they engage in challenging content learning in language arts (EDC), mathematics (University of Puget Sound), science (University of Michigan), and social studies (University of Delaware). The project has a special focus on the discourse practices that students use in learning rigorous content.
EDC and the Concord Consortium collaborated to develop “web-labs”: online genetics applications designed for middle and high school students. The project supports teachers’ use of the software by customizing it to teach specific genetics concepts and content. Project staff also developed teachers guides and other support materials.
In collaboration with the National Institute of Out-of-School Time (NIOST), EDC’s Center for Science Education worked with six science centers around the country to introduce design-engineering activities into afterschool programming. CSE developed the curricula for the engineering projects; NIOST provided technical support for their implementation. Through monthly workshops, science centers introduced the curricula to program leaders of participating community agencies.
This project creates informal learning opportunities in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology, using the ancient African civilization of Nubia as the context. Components include an exhibit, educational materials (hands-on kits, videos, and discussion guides), a Web site, a CD-ROM, community outreach, and professional development programs for educators in museums, community groups, schools, and libraries.
CSE is developing Explore It!, an out-of-school curriculum in which children explore familiar phenomena in an extended manner using simple materials to foster science learning. These investigations will provide an experiential foundation for the development of concepts aligned with the national standards addressed in formal school curricula.
This project has produced a high school curriculum that integrates academic (biology) and technical (biotechnology) education to create opportunities for all students to progress to higher education and to enter the high-skilled workforce. EDC works with education and industry advisors to ensure that the curriculum meets these goals. In this phase, we field-tested, evaluated, and revised two units, Microbe Detectives: Solving a Medical Mystery and A Genetic Puzzle: The Search for a Solution.
dot-EDU was an information and communication technology (ICT) intervention mechanism for USAID Missions seeking to improve education systems in their respective countries. dot-EDU sought to assist developing countries in strengthening learning systems that improve quality, expand access, and enhance equity through carefully planned applications of digital and broadcast technologies. The dot-EDU mission had two foci. First, dot-EDU provided training and technical assistance to support USAID Missions in developing and implementing technology-assisted applications.
EDC’s Gender, Diversities, and Technology Institute works at the intersection of gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability, culture, and sexual orientation seeking to understand how technology can support the development of democracy and human rights. Projects focus on increasing participation in and distributing ownership of the “new knowledge society” brought about by emerging technologies.
CSE is helping develop a Northeast Biomanufacturing Collaborative, a regional center with hubs in 12 states from Maine to Virginia. The project helps partnerships of community colleges, biotechnology companies, high schools, and four-year colleges develop programs and curricula to train people for biomanufacturing occupations and careers in the biotechnology industry.
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.
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.
GSDL provides high-quality digital resources to: (1) help educators promote interest and engagement with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education by learners of all ages, particularly females; (2) encourage learners to pursue science education and future careers in science; (3) provide an inter-disciplinary examination of the role of gender in the creation, teaching, and learning of science; and (4) build community among all interested users for the purposes of inquiry, information exchange, best practices development, and mentoring.