Research and Instruction in STEM Education

Projects

Science and Technology and Math Preparation Scholarship (STAMPS) awards scholarships to students majoring in biology, chemistry and biochemistry, computer science, geography, mathematics and statistics, or physics and astronomy.


The HERP project
A multidisciplinary team from The University of North Carolina Greensboro, Elon University and The University of North Carolina Pembroke have combined their areas of expertise and shared passions for the natural world in the program, Herpetology Education in Rural Places and Spaces.  The  project aims to trigger and nurture participants’ interest in herpetology, while they develop a sense of place and a connection to the local environment as well as a desire to protect ecological habitats. Along with igniting a passion for the rich biological diversity in our own back yards, The HERP project will promote the public’s participation in scientific research by providing an avenue to contribute their scientific knowledge of species behavior and distribution across NC.  The project also has a science education research goal focused on the study of science identity.  For information please contact Heidi Carlone at hbcarlon@uncg.edu or Catherine Matthews at cematthe@uncg.edu. 

 

Equitably Consequential Making 

A Research in Service to Practice 4-year project, focuses on understanding and designing for equity in STEM-oriented making for youth from historically underrepresented backgrounds. Given the proliferation of makerspaces in education settings, we seek to contribute new knowledge and practice for transforming the maker culture in ways that are equitably consequential; processes and outcomes of making which: a) Deepen STEM and making knowledges & practices; b) Connect STEM-making with one’s community and with broader social issues; and c) Support transformative outcomes at the individual and community level focused on learning, becoming and doing in STEM through sustained engagement in making. The research questions that drive this work include: 1) What do youth learn and do (in-the-moment and over time) in making spaces that work to support equity in making? How does sustained engagement in these spaces shape what youth learn and do in making over time? 2) What making space ‘design features’ support youth in making in equitably consequential ways, in what ways, under what conditions, and for whom? When do and how do making space design features work against equitably consequential making? 3) What are the individual and community outcomes youth experience in STEM-making across settings and time scales (while working in the making space, and later as they bring their ideas & artifacts into new spaces)? 4) What are the most salient indicators of equitably consequential making, and how do they take shape across context? How can these indicators be identified in practice? We will answer these questions by employing a) STEM interview studies and b) critical longitudinal ethnography with embedded youth participatory case study methodologies, in RPPs involving Michigan State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and at STEM- and youth-oriented making spaces in the Midwest and Southern US. We seek to build capacity among STEM-oriented maker practitioners, researchers and youth in the maker movement around equitably consequential making to expand the prevailing norms of making towards more transformative outcomes for youth. For more information contact Edna Tan at e_tan@uncg.edu.

Responsive Teaching in Elementary Mathematics (RTEM) project
We are exploring teaching that is responsive to children’s fraction thinking in grades 3–5. Teachers participate in 3 years of professional development focused on research-based knowledge of children’s thinking about fractions and how teachers can use this knowledge to be responsive to the thinking of children in their classrooms. This work builds on decades of research that has shown the benefits of instruction in which children’s thinking is central. Our project goals focus on characterizing mathematics teaching that is responsive to children’s thinking, understanding how professional development can support teachers’ learning, and exploring links to student-learning gains. This research and development project, funded by the National Science Foundation, is a collaboration among the University of Missouri, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, University of Texas at Austin, SRI International, and Teachers Development Group. For more information, please contact Vicki Jacobs at vrjacobs@uncg.edu