Improving Student Achievement Through Mathematics Specialists

William Haver
The NSF-funded MSP institute is a project that supports outstanding middle school teachers in their quest to become mathematics specialists. Each teacher participates in coursework that leads to a master’s degree and certification as a mathematics specialist. Following the certification, each of the participants will serve as a specialist within their home school districts, coaching other teachers.

Model My Watershed: Developing a Cyberlearning Application and Curricula to Enhance Interest in STEM Careers

Susan Gill
Model My Watershed is a three-year project aimed at developing, testing, and disseminating a watershed-modeling toolset for secondary students. Designed to build on Google Earth, this tool provides a dynamic interface where students can add data, modify environmental conditions, work in a collaborative online learning environment, and be exposed to STEM careers. The design is based on the belief that students should have an authentic, exciting, intuitive, and interactive tool set that allows them to investigate their own neighborhoods.

Lenses on Learning: Research-Based Mathematics Professional Development for K–12 Principals, Teacher Leaders, and District Leaders

Kristen Reed
The recent NRC report emphasizes the important role that school leaders play in promoting and supporting STEM learning in their schools. They play a role in setting a vision for STEM learning and teaching, identifying and hiring highly qualified teachers, providing and/or identifying relevant professional development opportunities, and establishing and sustaining school structures that support high-quality instruction.

IQWST: Investigating and Questioning our World through Science and Technology

Joseph Krajcik
IQWST, as the “next generation” of middle school curricula, was designed to enable teachers with diverse knowledge and experiences to teach science effectively to students with a variety of backgrounds and strengths. IQWST materials align with national standards, are rooted in principles of project-based scientific inquiry, focus on science’s “big ideas,” and employ research-based practices to promote students’ science content and science literacy learning.

The Fablab Classroom: Preparing Students for the Next Industrial Revolution

Glen Bull
This project introduces fourth- and fifth-grade students and teachers to engineering design and associated science and mathematics concepts by developing and implementing a new, scalable, personal fabrication laboratory—the Classroom FabLab—and supporting curricular activities. Cornell University is developing the Fab@School 3-D fabricator to support the project. The goal is to develop an open-source fabricator for schools that can be assembled in an afternoon for less than $1,000 in materials.

LPPSync: Prototype K–8 Interactive Diagnostic Assessment System (IDAS) based on Learning Trajectories for Rational Number Reasoning

Jere Confrey
The LPPSync project (Learning Progress Profiles Synchronized for Networked Wireless Devices) at North Carolina State University is developing an Interactive Diagnostic Assessment System for K–8 mathematics. LPPSync integrates empirically validated mathematics learning trajectories with corresponding diagnostic assessments that focus on critical topics of rational number reasoning—the foundation of algebraic preparation.

Design Squad: Inspiring a New Generation of Engineers

Marisa Wolsky
The PBS TV series and website Design Squad, and its spin off series Design Squad Nation, are designed to get its viewers involved in engineering through an integrated media experience and grassroots outreach campaign. Design Squad is a reality competition series where six teenagers learn to think smart, build fast, and contend with a wild array of engineering challenges. With Design Squad Nation, engineer co-hosts Judy and Adam travel across the country, working side by side with kids to turn their dreams into reality.

Selene: A Lunar Construction GaME—A CyGaMEs (Cyber-Enabled Teaching and Learning Through Game-based, Metaphor Enhanced Learning Objects) Instructional Environment with Embedded Assessment

Debbie Denise Reese
CyGaMEs invites youth ages nine and older to play its award-winning, online, instructional videogame Selene to learn the Solar System’s basic geological processes: “Blast away at what will quickly become a full-fledged, pockmarked moon like our own. Replicate the Moon’s 4.5-billion-year history. Follow with our MoonGazers hands-on activities.” Prepared with new knowledge that makes Moon viewing meaningful, Selene players go outside to explore the Moon from their own backyards.

Chemistry Facets: Formative Assessment to Improve Student Understanding in Chemistry

Jim Minstrell
Several government funded projects are developing facet-based, diagnostic formative assessments to support teachers in understanding and addressing their students’ conceptual strengths and weaknesses and to promote students’ conceptual change in science at the middle school level, high school level and beyond.

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST)

Evan Glazer
TJHSST is the product of a partnership between Fairfax County Public Schools and local business to improve education in science, mathematics, and technology. This unique public school offers a comprehensive program that focuses on scientific, mathematical, and technological fields. The core skills and values infused throughout the curriculum emphasize and promote critical inquiry and research, problem-solving skills, intellectual curiosity, and social responsibility.