Media Advisory 09-004
Research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education
Event at NSF offers the latest from researchers on STEM learning, and the best approaches for teaching STEM subjects
STEM education researchers are drawing on cognitive sciences to better understand student learning.
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February 10, 2009
STEM education researchers are increasingly drawing on the cognitive sciences for a more detailed understanding of how students learn, and researchers are investigating topics as diverse as the neural basis for learning mathematics, and how virtual environments support scientific inquiry.
Advancements in education research are prompting NSF to ask: Where is the cutting edge in education research? How can we best support it? What are its implications down the road for teaching and learning?
Among NSF's programs supporting basic research into how students learn STEM, and what approaches are most effective in teaching them, is a program called, Research and Evaluation on Education in Science and Engineering (REESE).
Eleven researchers funded through REESE are participating in an event at NSF headquarters where they will be presenting information about their ongoing work. The event, which is open to the public, takes place on Thurs., Feb. 19, from 3:30-5:00 p.m. in the first-floor atrium at NSF headquarters, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Va.
Remarks on ongoing directions and priorities will be given at 4:00 p.m. The event will include light refreshments.
Among the researchers scheduled to attend are:
- Janet Hyde, University of Wisconsin-Madison--Recently featured in the New York Times and other media for her work on gender and math learning, she will discuss three different projects related to math learning, including one on mothers' interactions with children doing mathematics.
- Jeremy Roschelle, SRI International--Recently interviewed for NSF's multimedia special report, "Math: What's the Problem?", will discuss his projects, which have addressed issues of how to teach and scale up the teaching of important mathematics concepts to middle school students using innovative technologies.
- Sarah Brem from Arizona State University--She will discuss her study synthesizing what we know from cognitive scientists, science educators, biologists and teachers about the challenges of learning about and teaching evolution.
- Kathryn Borman, University of South Florida--Her research draws on the wealth of data from the state of Florida about students in public postsecondary institutions. Through her research projects, Borman examines student pathways all the way from high school through college and into their later career placements in STEM or other fields.
- Bruce McCandliss, Vanderbilt University--He will discuss his new research project that is using brain imaging measures, including brain structure (MRI, DTI), bloodflow changes (fMRI), and electrical responses (ERP) to analyze early math and number skills in first graders and kindergartners.
Attendees will have an opportunity to hear from all of the participants about their work. Media interviews may be arranged by contacting Maria Zacharias in NSF's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs (OLPA) at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-292-8454.
Individuals with special needs, who would like to request accomodations, may contact Nicole Harris for assistance at email@example.com or 703-292-7155 by Monday, February 16, 2009.
A complete list of participants follows:
- Kathryn Borman, The Alliance for Applied Research in Education and Anthropology, University of South Florida, Understanding Factors that Sustain STEM Career Pathways, and On-Track for STEM Careers: Access to Rigorous and Relevant STEM Courses in Florida's High Schools
- Sarah Brem, Mary Lou Fulton College of Education, Arizona State University, Collaborative Research: Facing the Challenges of Learning and Teaching About Evolution: A Synthesis
- Janet Hyde, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Mothers' Interactions with Children Doing Mathematics; New Trends in Gender and Mathematics Performance: Meta-Analytic Synthesis; and Parents, Utility Value, and Motivating Adolescents in Mathematics and Science
- Richard Ingersoll, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania, The Effects of Accountability and Teacher Preparation on Mathematics and Science Teacher Retention
- Robert Jacobs, Brain & Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester, A Machine Learning Approach to Human Visual Learning
- Lynn S. Liben, Department of Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, Collaborative Research: Constructing Mental Images of Geologic Structures from Field Observations and Collaborative Research/Applied Research: Map and Spatial Skills of Children and Teachers, and How They Are Affected by the "Where are We?" Instructional Materials
- Richard Lehrer, Department of Teaching and Learning, Vanderbilt University, Constructing Data, Modeling Worlds: Collaborative Investigation of Statistical Reasoning
- Bruce McCandliss, Psychological Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Brain Correlates of Early Math and Number Skills: Tracing Changes Related to Age and Instruction in a Natural Experiment
- Roxana A. Moreno, Educational Psychology Program, PECASE: Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice in Teacher Education: Guided Interactive Virtual Environments (GIVEs) for Case-Based Learning
- Jeremy Roschelle, Center for Technology in Learning, SRI International, Working with Teachers and Leveraging Technology to Scale Opportunities to Learn More Complex and Conceptually Difficult Middle School Mathematics
- Nancy Songer, School of Education, University of Michigan, DeepThink: Thinking Deeply about Biodiversity and Ecology; and BioKIDS: Kids' Inquiry of Diverse Species
Maria C. Zacharias, NSF, (703) 292-8454, firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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