Grant Projects involving REALSTEM Consultants

  • MSP, Mathematics Modeling Partnership: Preparing urban teachers for math & science, $500K; (2009- 2011) The Phoenix Union High School District (PUHSD) and Arizona State University (ASU) formed a Mathematics and Science Partnership to substantially increase the pedagogical content knowledge of PUHSD mathematics teachers in the areas of discrete mathematics, mathematical modeling, and financial mathematics. Sixty teachers, whose assignments focus on junior and senior-level mathematics courses will be provided 135 contact hours of professional development beginning with an intensive summer institute focusing on developing their specialized content knowledge. Participating teachers are instructed using a variety of researched best practices, focusing on modeling high cognitive demand tasks in problem-based-learning scenarios. Throughout the school year, teachers will implement best practices by developing and piloting curriculum for 4 new 4th-year courses designed to embody the College and Work-Readiness (CWR) Standards for Arizona Mathematics: Advanced Mathematics with Modeling 1-2, Trigonometry 1-2, Financial Mathematics 1, and Principles of Mathematics for Technology 1. This MSP has the potential to impact over 5,000 students each year, and up to 9,000 per year in the PUHSD. Outcomes include significantly increased teacher knowledge of the focal mathematics content, advancement in their Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (as articulated by Ball et al., 2008), high quality classroom practice and climate as measured by multiple administrations of the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP), and significant improvement of students’ achievement on district-, state-, and national-level mathematics achievement tests.
  • NSF DRK-12 Embodied Learning in Physics, School of Arts, Media and Engineering, ASU, This is a 5-year controlled experiment examining the effect of embodied learning in three different learning environments: Interactive Whiteboards, desktop computer and the Situated Multimedia Arts Learning Laboratory (SMALLab) $2.5M, (10/ 2010- 9-2015)
  • NSF (I^3) Innovation through Institutional Integration, This 5-year program has created a Master of Natural Science program for in-service teachers to become highly qualified in middle school science and mathematics; professional development network for middle and high school STEM Educators that meets three times a year at ASU; Middle School STEM College for Kids summer camps; Ask-a-Scientist website. award $1.3M, (9/15/2009-8/31/2014)
  • NSF SMP Science Master’s Program “Solar Energy Engineering & Commercialization” $500K;(7/1/2010 – 6/30/2013); More rapid development of solar energy is stymied by the high (but declining) costs of solar energy systems, the relatively low efficiencies of such systems, regulatory hurdles that impede development, and uncoordinated governmental policies. Overcoming such obstacles demands a new kind of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) workforce – one skilled in technical subjects at the heart of solar energy technologies, but also well versed in the socio-economic (e.g., social, economic, behavioral, policy) and commercial aspects of solar energy. Arizona State University (ASU) is addressing these needs through a new professional Science Master's Degree in Solar Energy Engineering & Commercialization. This rigorous 30-credit-hour program is designed for full-time students to complete in 12 months, but it will also be available to online and part-time students. Our students, who will already have a Bachelor's degree in a STEM field, will take technical and nontechnical courses. Special program features include a course on Solar Energy & Public Policy that involves a trip to Washington DC, and strong interactions with the solar energy industry through a summer research project and internship opportunities. The broader impacts of the proposed Science Master's Degree program include the wider application of solar energy achieved by educating the future leaders of the field in the societal, business, policy, and regulatory aspects of solar energy while still maintaining a rigorous technical grounding. Women and underrepresented minorities, including Native Americans, are recruited by working with existing organizations at ASU that target these groups.
  • IEECI #0836040, Partnership Pipeline for Engineering Education: Engaging Middle school students, $99K, (1/2009- 12/31/2011) The university- school district- community partnership is at the heart of the proposed project. It forged a close collaboration between Arizona State University (ASU) educators, Chandler Unified School District (CUSD) middle school teachers, guidance counselors, parents, and students, industry representatives and the City Chandler, Arizona to highlight and communicate the value of engineering and ways that engineering addresses societal needs. Additionally, the partnership illustrates how engineering contexts can show the significance of science, math, social studies and language arts in everyday life. The overall goal is to increase the awareness, motivation and self-perception of Arizona students in their formative, career–decision years, i.e., middle school learners, to engineering opportunities and educational pathways that lead to successful engineering careers. In doing so, the State of Arizona will have in place a more socially-embedded comprehensive and effective educational pipeline that will provide the needed Arizona engineering workforce to compete in a global competitive high technology economy.
  • The proposed project will motivate teachers and counselors and inform them of misconceptions about engineering. It will also reveal to them the perceived and real barriers that impact the teaching of engineering concepts and curricular integration as well as barriers that may influence students as they select academic pathways toward professional careers. The project team will develop a series of four modular units, one for each quarter of the school year, as a collaborative partnership with CUSD teacher teams in a professional learning community. A culminating showcase event will be held at the Arizona Science Center that involves all project stakeholders including the families of K-12 students. The evaluation modular unit will use pre- and post-assessments to measure student and teacher attitudinal changes, engineering awareness, and societal relevance of the project. The four modular units will then be available for use in diverse settings in CUSD, the Phoenix metropolitan area, and beyond.