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The Reedy Creek Magnet Middle School Center for the Digital Sciences/Friday Institute for Educational Innovation Research Practice Partnership


Together, Reedy Creek and the Friday Institute are partnering to develop a culture of computational thinking within Reedy Creek’s digital sciences magnet program. 


Reedy Creek Magnet Middle School (RCMMS) and the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation began working together during the 2016-2017 academic year as the Friday Institute provided repeated and varied professional development sessions to help the RCMMS staff learn the language, theory and thought processes of computational thinking with a focus on decomposition, pattern recognition, algorithms and abstraction. Over the past four years, the relationship between the two entities has evolved into an early-stage research practice partnership, where the Friday Institute serves in the research role and RCMMS serves in the practitioner role. The partnership also has a RPP broker, or liaison, who serves as an intermediary between the Friday Institute and RCMMS and additional research support from the Department of Computer Science at NC State University. 


  • Assembled a teacher leader cohort to shepherd computational thinking and computer science integration efforts including school-wide professional development
  • Formed a Digital Sciences team to plan and review computational thinking professional learning to teachers as well as programs and activities for students and parents
  • Incorporated coding and computational thinking projects into RCMMS classes, such as computer simulations and data tracking, where researchers provide hands-on support to teachers in the classroom
  • Co-participated in computational thinking events, such as Hour of Code, magnet theme showcase events, and STEM night events
  • Presented together at the NC Science Teachers Association (NCSTA) conference (shown above)
  • Facilitating first Family Code Night
  • Created a video for the National Science Foundation showcase


  • Student Learning Goal: By June 2021, every student will have participated in a coding activity in each subject area, including electives.
  • Professional Practice Goal: Continue to provide meaningful support during CT activities and monthly Professional Learning sessions for staff.
  • Partnership Goal: Provide in-time support during transition to online learning environment.

The RCMMS/FI RPP is a member of the National Network of Education Research Practice Partnerships (NNERPP), a professional learning community that provides resources to enhance the productivity of RPPs in education, and was featured in the 2020 Year in Review NNERPP Report.

In July 2021, the RCMMS/FI RPP presented at the NNERPP Annual Forum in their session “Voices from the Field: RPP Teacher Leader Perspectives.” During the presentation, educators shared their perspectives of the RPP as well as lessons learned and recommendations for the field. View the presentation here.



Project Team

Dr Eric N Wiebe Dr Eric N Wiebe

Dr Tiffany Barnes Dr Tiffany Barnes

Dr Veronica Catete Dr Veronica Catete

Dr Callie Womble Edwards Dr Callie Womble Edwards

H. Trent Evans H. Trent Evans

Christine Sachs Christine Sachs

Indira Bhandari Indira Bhandari

Stephanie Bunnell Stephanie Bunnell

Lucy Dioguardi Lucy Dioguardi

Sara Fulcher Sara Fulcher

Jill Gregory Jill Gregory

Madeline Hinckle Madeline Hinckle

Erin McDermott Erin McDermott

Kelly McIlhargey Kelly McIlhargey

Elise Thrash Elise Thrash