Investigating and Questioning our World Through Science and Technology (IQWST; pronounced I-quest) project is developing the next generation of middle school curricula designed to enable teachers with diverse knowledge and experiences to teach science effectively to students with a variety of backgrounds and strengths.Through the IQWST project we have made substantial progress on supporting students in constructing scientific explanations. In particular, we have explored several strategies to scaffold students and teachers in constructing explanations. QWST has also made substantial progress on learning how to develop reading materials that help students build scientific literacy skills.
The National Center for Teaching and Learning in Nanoscale Science (NCLT) and Engineering is the first national center for learning and teaching of nanoscale science and engineering education in the US. The NCLT focuses on how to support 7th through 16th graders in learning nanoscience ideas. The work at Michigan focuses primarily on 7 – 12th grade.
Related to the NCLT, I recently received a small grant for exploratory research (SGER) from NSF (A Workshop to Identify and Clarify Nanoscale Learning Goals) to bring together leading experts and practitioners in nanoscience, learning science and science education, to explore and discuss big ideas in nanoscience and then turn them into learning goals. The goals of the workshop are to identify: 1) the major concepts of nanoscience and to clarify the meaning of these concepts, 2) the learning goals that emerge from the major concepts, 3) how these learning goals align with national standards, and 4) where links to the national standards do not yet exist.
The Center for Curriculum Materials in Science (CCMS) is a collaboration of Project 2061 of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Michigan State University, Northwestern University, and the University of Michigan. It is focused on the analysis, design, and use of science curriculum materials and the development of new leaders in science education. Funded through the National Science Foundation’s Centers for Learning and Teaching program, CCMS is helping to enrich the national infrastructure for standards-based K-12 science, mathematics, and technology education. At Michigan we particularly focus on how to support students in learning content knowledge across time, supporting students in complex tasks such as explanation and model building, and how to design materials to support teacher learning.
Education for Community Genomic Awareness, from the National Institutes of Health (Co-PI with Toby Citrin from Public Health) explores how to bring modern genetics into the high school curriculum, what students learn in such learning environments, what challenges teachers face and how do you design materials to support teachers in this new area of science, and how do you work with the community to inform them of these new ideas. This work has just begun so there is no presentation related to it.