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. The investigations challenge students to make real-world decisions based on scientific knowledge and models. The project uses the complexity of environmental science to engage and excite students about the diverse STEM careers that are necessary to study and address environmental issues. Using existing scientific data in an authentic, hydrologic modeling toolset, students learn to predict how environmental changes to the ecosystem affect the hydrologic cycle in their local watersheds. In addition to being able to modify the underlying environmental conditions, students can modify their watershed by implementing best-management practices such as green roofs and porous pavement. A collaborative Web-based communication platform is used to network teams of students and schools to pose questions or challenges and communicate their findings. The project will directly impact 25 teachers and 1000 students in the Philadelphia area with plans for national dissemination.
Moving Next Generation Science Standards into Practice was funded by the National Science Foundation to develop a middle school ecology unit and professional development program that models the three-dimensional learning envisioned in the Framework for K–12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
The Franklin Institute is committed to engaging teachers, students, and families in science learning. Parent Partners in School Science (PPSS) was developed by The Franklin Institute, in partnership with the School District of Philadelphia, as a science education and parent involvement program, with the goal of connecting a child’s home and school life through science learning. Through events and take-home activities, adults and children think about their everyday lives like scientists—questioning, observing, testing, and experimenting with the world around them. PPSS strives to develop resources that are engaging, non-threatening, and fun for adults and children. Further, PPSS provides resources to elementary school teachers to bolster science learning and parent involvement. PPSS materials are linked to the School District of Philadelphia’s science curriculum. PPSS is intended to meet the needs of teachers implementing the science curriculum and parents who want to support what their children are learning in science class. In addition to PPSS, The Franklin Institute works closely with schools through its partnership with The Science Leadership Academy, an inquiry-driven, project-based high school focused on 21st century learning and teacher professional development opportunities offered throughout the city and region.
Opened in 2009, the National Inventors Hall of Fame® School…Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Learning is designed to be a unique and comprehensive STEM middle school that promotes problem-based learning. The Akron STEM School is unique in its ability to partner not only with local businesses and institutions, but also with national organizations. Instruction by local engineers and world-renowned inventors is built into the curriculum. Every part of the school day—from classroom learning and assignments to daily activities—incorporates the spirit of Akron, a philosophy of innovation and creativity.
The world economy is rapidly outpacing America’s development of STEM talent. Our students must learn more, do more, and create more. To meet this challenge, thousands of STEM professionals are ready to join forces with new and accomplished teachers to develop the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders we need to thrive in a global economy.
Kansas is one of 26 lead states that have been actively involved with the development of the NGSS and one of 45 states involved with the Building Capacity for State Science Education project of the Council of State Science Supervisors. Now that these standards are nearly complete, it is time to think deliberately about implications for adoption and implementation— 25 STRAND: Supportive Infrastructure for STEM Learning PRESENTER: Matt Krehbiel, Kansas State Department of Education Prepared for STEM Smart: Lessons Learned From Successful Schools, an NSF event held on March 22, 2013, at University of Maryland, Baltimore ways to leverage partnerships to increase capacity for science education not only within, but also between, states.
The National Science Foundation (NSF)-sponsored Engineering Research Centers (ERCs) are a group of interdisciplinary centers located at universities all across the United States, each in close partnership with industry. ERC innovations in research and education are expected to impact curricula at all levels, from pre-college to lifelong learning, and to be disseminated to and beyond their academic and industry partners. A vital part of ERC education programs are outreach efforts to bring engineering concepts to pre-college classrooms, with the aim of attracting students to engineering and STEM careers. Because ERCs play a critical role by integrating research, education, diversity, outreach, and industrial collaboration, the NSF views ERCs as change agents for academic engineering programs and the engineering community at large.
The Pathways Professional Development Model for Precalculus Level Mathematics (P3DM) has developed resources including student curricula (e.g., in-class student activities, an online interactive textbook, online videos), teacher materials (e.g., teacher notes, exemplary lecture videos, and dynamic computer applets for use in instruction), and workshops designed to support teachers in engaging their students in genuine inquiry and mathematically substantive conversations.
The STeLLA professional development program engages fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade teachers in using two powerful and often neglected lenses to analyze videocases of science teaching: the Student Thinking Lens and the Science Content Storyline Lens. Focusing on deep analysis of these two lenses and associated teaching strategies, teachers learn to be more analytical in planning, enacting, and reflecting on their practice. Through this analysis work, they deepen their science content knowledge, develop as analytical practitioners with rich pedagogical content knowledge about the subjects they are teaching, and improve their planning and teaching practices. Most importantly, the one-year intensive program improves their students’ science learning. In short, this is a professional development (PD) program that makes a difference in terms of <em>student</em> learning.
This project is funded by the National Science Foundation, grants # 0822241, 1449550, 1650648, 1743807, and 1813076. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these materials are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.