Current Projects

PISA2: Partnership to Improve Student Achievement in Physical Science: Integrating STEM Approaches (2010–2016)

PISA2, an $11.5M National Science Foundation-sponsored Mathematics and Science Partnership program, engages grades 3-8 teachers from 14 New Jersey school districts to enhance their content and pedagogical content knowledge and practice in science and engineering. Participants enroll in either a series of five graduate-level science courses or in a series of one-week summer institutes, each organized around a different core science idea. Professional development activities are led by Stevens disciplinary faculty and CIESE science and engineering teaching experts. In addition, all teachers participate in school year, full-day workshops and are provided one-on-one, in-class support. Professional development foci include: model making, explanation and evidence and engineering integration. Project research is investigating the extent and nature of change in teacher knowledge and practice, as well as impact on students’ science, engineering knowledge, critical thinking and creativity.

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BISU: Build IT Underwater Robotics Scale-Up for STEM Learning and Workforce Development Project (2009–2014)

BISU, supported by a $2.5 million National Science Foundation ITEST grant, refines and expands a previously developed underwater robotics program to national and state partners to reach up to 12,000 youth, with a focus on girls and underserved minorities, through formal and after-school education programs. WaterBotics® supports students to learn engineering practices and engineering design concepts, computer programing, and underlying physical science ideas. Partners include the National Girls Collaborative Project and the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association. Project research is investigating impact on students, training and classroom implementation, and scale-up and sustainability efforts. Partnering hub sites include Sinclair Community College, Triton College, the Texas Girls Collaborative Project, the Pacific Northwest Girls Collaborative Project, and the Kentucky Girls STEM Collaborative Project. Research and evaluation partners include Teachers College at Columbia University and Evaluation & Research Associates.

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NJ PRIME: NJ Partnership for Research to Improve Mathematics Education (2013–2016)

NJ PRIME is a NJ Department of Education-sponsored Mathematics and Science Partnership program to provide school-based teams of K-5 elementary teachers with professional development that will strengthen their content and teaching expertise and prepare them to be effective mathematics teacher leaders. The 3-year program is designed to ensure that participants can engage students in deeper conceptual understanding, critical thinking, and problem-solving in the topic areas now emphasized by the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and facilitate their use and understanding by other elementary teachers in their districts. Project research is investigating teachers’ understanding of and confidence in key mathematical topics, their pedagogical content knowledge, and their ability to apply the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics to their classroom teaching practices. Partners include 12 schools from the Bayonne, Weehawken, Union City, and Elizabeth public school districts and Stevens Institute of Technology.

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Project Infuse: An Examination of Science Teachers’ Conceptual Learning through Concept-Based Engineering Professional Development (2011–2016)

A partnership involving five universities and funded by the National Science Foundation, the goals of this project are to study how high school science teachers in different disciplines learn engineering concepts, how they introduce those concepts in the classroom, and to develop a set of recommendations to guide teachers in infusing curricula with engineering concepts and activities. This 5-year, $3 million National Science Foundation, Discovery Research K-12 project involves a two-year professional development and implementation commitment with two cohorts of teachers learning engineering concepts and infusing curriculum materials in biology and physics with the targeted concepts and design activities. Project partners include Black Hills State University, Purdue University, University of Massachusetts at Boston, and University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

STEAM: Integrating Art into STEM through Engineering Design (2011–2014)

This teacher professional development program funded by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation infuses art into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curricula by bringing together art and science or technology teachers to explore connections and develop lessons for classroom use. The STEAM program uses hands-on engineering design activities to engage students in creative and innovative pursuits -- both of technological concepts and applications as well as in artistry of product design.

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iSTEM: An Integrated STEM Professional Development Pilot Program (2011–2014)

This teacher professional development program in the Diocese of Paterson provides integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workshops and classroom support to elementary and middle school science, math, and technology teachers from seventeen schools. Focus is on core content areas in STEM education and which emphasize 21st century skills, such as problem-solving, global collaboration, creativity and innovation, and communication. Students are engaged in design, problem-solving, decision-making and investigative activities.

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Impact of Strengthening the “T” and “E” Components of STEM in High School Biology and Chemistry (2009–2014)

Curriculum and professional development in biology and chemistry were the foundation of this $1.4 million NSF Discovery Research K-12 grant to investigate the impact of incorporating engineering in these courses on student learning and acquisition of communication and collaboration skills. CIESE partnered with Portland State University to develop engineering-infused and parallel traditional curriculum materials in a randomized controlled trial to investigate the impact of engineering. Measurement instruments were developed to assess the students’ understanding of science concepts and their communication and collaboration skills. Analysis of student data is in progress.

WaterBotics® Informal STEM Educators Institute (2013–2015)

Sponsored by Lockheed Martin, this institute prepares out-of-school STEM educators to implement WaterBotics with youth in their summer camp and after-school programs thus expanding the reach of this research-based program. The program is designed to increase the number of youth—particularly girls, minorities, and those in low socioeconomic status areas—with the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue STEM study and careers. WaterBotics engages youth in exciting, hands-on, innovative and novel technologies that improve their knowledge of and interest in pursuing science and engineering careers.

PSEG WaterBotics Camp (2014)

With support from the PSEG Foundation, Stevens Institute of Technology conducted three WaterBotics week-long day camps for a total of 72 middle school aged youth in the summer of 2014. WaterBotics is an innovative, engaging and research-based engineering and science program for middle and high school youth that challenges students to design, build, program, test, and redesign underwater robots using LEGO® components and related programming tools. Campers will engage in hands-on experiences in science, engineering design, and computer programming through a scaffolded series of team-based challenges.