A significant portion of the Center’s work is in evaluation and research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). These projects include research conducted by the Center funded by the National Science Foundation and evaluation of a variety of STEM projects designed to improve K-16 mathematics and science teaching and learning.
The Institute for Interdisciplinary STEM Education's Project Real STEM is a Georgia Race to the Top Innovation Fund project designed to create a collaborative with Georgia Southern University and regional research institutes working with school district partners to develop integrated STEM performance tasks that engage students in applied learning through real-world challenges of environment and energy that are affecting their local communities. The partnership will develop problem-based modules for high school career pathways courses mandated by the Georgia State House. The overarching goal is to reigniting student interest in STEM, improve STEM achievement, and encourage students to pursue careers in STEM. The long term goals is for students to become STEM literate citizens who can make informed decisions about issues that impact their lives. The 150 students in the first year of the project will apply STEM to real-world place-based problems arising from research conducted on the coastal plain, be mentored by scientists, and be taught by teachers working in professional learning communities that are collaborating with scientists.
- Georgia Race to the Top Innovation Fund
- Institute for Interdisciplinary STEM Education- Georgia Southern University
Math/Science Partnership Initiatives
CPED evaluates projects sponsored through the Georgia Department of Education MSP programs. These projects are designed to form partnerships between school districts or Regional Education Service Agencies (RESA) and universities for the purpose of improving K-12 teacher content and pedagogical knowledge in mathematics and science. MSP projects typically employ intense summer workshops supported by in-school activities and follow-up sessions during the school year. Ultimately, projects hope to affect student learning. Current MSP Projects include:
- Bibb County Public Schools-Mercer University
Teacher Quality Program
The Teacher Quality Program funds projects that promote professional development of teachers in language arts, mathematics, reading, science and/or social studies. The program emphasizes the deepening of teacher content knowledge and how that deeper understanding of their disciplines affects classroom practices and student learning. Projects can also focus on technology, alternative assessment strategies, or innovative teaching strategies. The program is a partnership among the Georgia Department of Education, The University System of Georgia, The University of Georgia, and the US Department of Education.
Current Teacher Quality Projects include:
- Georgia Southern University- Richmond County Public Schools
- University of West Georgia- School Districts of Calhoun, Haralson, and Baker counties
- Oconee RESA- Georgia College
- Peach County Public Schools- Ft. Valley State University
- Fulton County Public Schools- Georgia State University
- Middle Georgia RESA- Mercer University
- Heart of Georgia RESA- Georgia Southern Universit
- Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools- Armstrong Atlantic State University
Teacher Quality Grants
- Fort Valley State University- Crawford County Schools
- Georgia Southern University- Glynn County Public Schools
From Fossils to Space
The Georgia College Science Natural History Museum and Planetarium received funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to develop its From Fossils to Space program. FFTS was designed to provide grade 3-8 teachers training in how to effectively integrate the GC Natural History Museum and Planetarium into their teaching. Teachers from Baldwin, Jones, Hancock, Putnam, and Wilkinson school districts participated in the program, focusing on content development in earth science and astronomy as well as inquiry teaching techniques in the museum/planetarium setting. GC education and science faculty members in paleontology, earth science, and astronomy helped teachers align museum activities and content with Georgia performance standards. Activities included summer and follow-up workshops and field trips that incorporate hands-on learning activities.
Partnership for Reform in Science and Mathematics Phase II
This CPED research project was supported by the National Science Foundation. PRISM was originally funded as part of the National Science Foundation’s systemic initiative program to reform science and mathematics teaching and learning. The Center provided evaluation services for PRISM for 6 years. At the conclusion of the project, the Center was part of a team, including with Armstrong Atlantic State University and the University of Georgia, that was funded to pursue a three-year study of the effects of K-12/Higher Education STEM learning communities on teacher classroom practices, teacher participation in professional activities (e.g., attending conference or assuming leadership positions), and student learning. As lead for the study, the Center coordinated work of the participating researchers at the three institutions and is fiscal agent for the study. Papers resulting from the work can be found at the NSF/MSP site below