Education Development Center proposes to lead the National Science FoundationÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s DRK-12 resource network, building on a decade of support that we have provided through the Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education (CADRE). Over the next 3 years, CADRE will provide capacity building and technical support activities for DRK-12 projects further developing expertise in the preK-12 STEM education research and development community, broaden participation of those less well represented in the DRK-12 portfolio, and facilitate national dissemination of project outcomes and products within and beyond the DRK-12 community to enhance the learning and teaching of preK-12 STEM. A primary goal of CADRE will be to advance activities that have the potential to improve the rigor and quality of research and development in STEM education and further the mission of the DRK-12 program. To meet this goal, CADRE will employ approaches that have proven effective during our previous work, as well as a set of new strategies that are responsive to the solicitation, surveys of DRK-12 community needs and interests, evaluations, the expert guidance of new partners, and the current societal context. Dr. Eric Wiebe, Professor, NC State University, will serve as a Co-PI on the CADRE project should it be funded. Wiebe will provide thought leadership, strategic planning, and specific support for CADREÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s capacity building and technical assistance (TA) for current awardees. Wiebe will also co-lead an effort to identify DRK-12 contributions to and impacts on preK-12 STEM education and research.
The University of Florida and North Carolina State University jointly propose FLECKS, a Design and Development proposal for the NSF's Discovery Research PreK-12 (DRK-12) program. FLECKS (Friendly Learning Environment for Kids' Computer Science) addresses the pressing need for the development of fundamental computer science competencies in upper elementary-school children. The goal of the proposed project is to design, develop, and investigate FLECKS, an intelligent learning environment to teach collaborative computer science problem solving. Collaboration is a central academic and professional practice in computational thinking, yet it presents many challenges for elementary school students. Students often struggle to collaborate successfully due to individual differences in academic status; gender; cultural background; personality; attitudes toward collaboration; or attitudes toward learning. In order to address these challenges, FLECKS will provide dyads of students with a rich, scaffolded environment where they use an interactive online coding environment to engage in computer science challenges related to their STEM subject areas. Central to the innovation is the way in which the dyads are supported. FLECKS are animated virtual characters that take a rich set of multimodal features as input, and then adapt to studentsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ patterns of collaboration, including who has control of the keyboard and mouse; who speaks when; and the problem-solving actions the students take in the online environment.
Through this collaborative proposal, project teams at both NCSU and UNC-Charlotte will work to continue to grow and expand an infusion model of computer science and computational thinking (CS/CT) through a research-practitioner partnership (RPP). The NC State project team has used two other NSF-funded and one WCPSS-funded projects to partner over the past two years with Reedy Creek Middle School in Wake County to help develop a model of CS/CT infusion across the school. Utilizing both a RPP and STEM ecosystem approach, we are working with the teachers and leadership at Reedy Creek using strategies to maximize student participation in CS/CT activities--especially among groups that historically have not participated in computer science--and to deepen their skills and abilities through multiple opportunities for participation. For this new project, we want to continue to work at Reedy Creek to expand and deepen the curricular innovations and teacher capacity for instruction in this area. In addition, we are developing a new partnership with UNC-Charlotte and Northridge middle school to scale our innovative approach and continue to learn how to successfully grow a CS/CT ecosystem in middle schools.
Significant advances in intelligent tutoring systems have paved the way for engaging STEM undergraduates in computer science. This research has spawned a new generation of personalized learning environments that offer significant promise for providing students with adaptive learning experiences that are crafted to their individual needs. Spurred by this significant promise and building on a research infrastructure developed by the project team in a series of NSF-supported projects, the PRIME project will transform introductory computer science education with state-of-the-art intelligent tutoring systems technologies.
Recent years have seen a growing recognition that computer science is vital for scientific inquiry. The middle school grade band is critical for shaping studentsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ aspirations and skills, and many issues relating to workforce underproduction and underrepresentation of diverse students in computer science can be traced back to middle school. To address this problem, the project will deeply integrate computer science into middle school science classrooms. Centered on a game-based learning environment that features collaborative learning, the project will have a specific focus on addressing gender issues in middle school computer science education with the goal of creating learning interactions that are both effective and engaging for all students.
This project will utilize research and development groups at the Concord Consortium and NC State University. Educational software for teaching high school multi-level genetics developed by the Concord Consortium will be enhanced by intelligent agents and machine-based tutoring system technologies developed at NC State to help enhance the learning experience for students. These groups will collaborate closely to develop and research a hybrid system that combines technological intervention and teacher pedagogical expertise to illuminate and guide student learning in deeply digital curricula and classrooms.
This project addresses the critical national need to ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œEmpower all American students from kindergarten through high school to learn computer science and be equipped with the computational thinking skills they need to be creators in the digital economy, not just consumers, and to be active citizens in our technology-driven worldÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â (President Obama, 2016 State of the Union Address). We take a systemic approach in which we will: -Conduct research to determine how students develop the key concepts and processes of computer science and the effectiveness of alternative teaching approaches. -Design learning resources that guide and support the teaching and learning of computer science, using emerging technologies such as artificial intelligent-driven tutors and interactive, game-like, virtual learning environments. -Influence the practice of teaching computer science in K-12 schools, through providing both professional learning and mentoring opportunities for teachers. -Inform policy decisions, at the state, district and school levels, through providing information for principals, district leaders, local school board members and state policymakers to inform their decisions about adding computer science in the K-12 curriculum.
The College of Education at NC State University and the Wake Young WomenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Leadership Academy (WYWLA) propose the collaborative iNnovative Exploration of Science and Technology (iNEST) project to integrate targeted STEM activities into a new after-school maker club two afternoons per week throughout the school year. The project targets three goals: 1) develop studentsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ problem solving skills associated with computational thinking through interest-driven inquiry; 2) develop studentsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ leadership skills through interest-driven quests, collaboration and peer mentoring in a maker community, and opportunities to lead making events; and 3) develop studentsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ understanding and appreciation of STEM college and career paths. The WYWLA is a public, single-gender, early college, STEM school, serving grades 6-13 on two separate campuses. The maker club will be open to all students on the schoolÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Governor Morehead campus (grades 6-10, n=275) and will meet in a new makerspace in the school library media center. As the WYWLA emphasizes a rigorous curriculum of core courses to meet graduation requirements by the 11th grade, the project will provide enrichment opportunities for students to move beyond mandated to interest-driven questions.
Despite the great promise offered by learning environments for K-12 science education, realizing its potential poses significant challenges. In particular, current learning environments do not adaptively support childrenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s affect. This project investigates computational models of affect that support multimodal dialogue-rich interaction. With an emphasis on devising scalable solutions, the project focus on machine-learning techniques for automatically acquiring affect and dialogue models that can be widely deployed in natural classroom settings.
The purpose of the proposed project is to support data-driven decision-making in campus K-12 STEM outreach programs, particularly those funded by NSF, by creatively integrating multiple sources of data and feeding this back through a supported learning community on campus, assuring maximum impact on the breadth and depth of the future U.S. STEM workforce. The goals of the proposed project are: ? To provide an innovative network of support and communications among University-based outreach projects, their school system partners, and their participating students and teachers through a full-time coordinator and advisory committee. ? To serve as a model of strategic and synergistic planning and assessment at a time when an unprecedented amounts of interest and resources are being put towards developing a STEM-literate workforce and citizenry. ? To demonstrate tools for data-driven planning and analysis through development of a core outreach evaluation protocol as well as an integrated database of NC State K-12 outreach participants merged with longitudinal data on student and teacher outcomes. ? To broaden knowledge of best K-12 outreach practices and deepen the impact of NC State?s K-12 programs on students? future academic and career choices. ? To broaden participation among underrepresented groups in K-12 STEM outreach activities through integrated publicity and recruiting strategies.