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Connecting Researchers in Sharing and Re-Use of Research Data and Software: University of California Office of the President

Sponsor: University of California, Office of the President, Oakland

Guenter Waibel

[email protected] (Principal Investigator)

ABSTRACT

Open science practices have gained widespread adoption, globally, with the help of federal funding and publisher policies, as well as the increasing visibility and growing awareness of the value of sharing work. This has been largely evident in light of the current COVID19 pandemic, with data sharing driving many areas of research, and open software resources must evolve to meet the needs of researchers. To meet the emerging demands and growing requirements of the research community who need support for both data and software sharing, Dryad and California Digital Library partnered in 2018 and Dryad and Zenodo partnered in 2019. These partnerships have allowed for the three organizations to re-think the data and publishing processes, explore ways for data curation, software preservation, and for output re-use to be tied together more seamlessly.

This project is a one-day, invitational workshop bringing together researchers and adjacent community members with diverse backgrounds to discuss needs, challenges, and priorities for re-using research data and software. The goal of the meeting is to develop pathways for consistent engagement with individuals and groups across the diverse scientific disciplines in order to be connected with and responsive to researchers’ needs and goals. Meeting topics include dataset re-use, deposition guidance, curation standards and requirements, integrations and relationships between data and code, and advocacy and adoption. The anticipated outputs are a set of requirements and needs to better enable data and software sharing and re-use.

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AwardsInventXRMovement Thinking

Augmented Reality Experiences in 21st Century STEM Careers

Sponsor: Education Connection

Jonathan Costa [email protected] (Principal Investigator)
Christine Broadbridge (Co-Principal Investigator)
Karen Wosczyna-Birch (Co-Principal Investigator)
Katherine Shields (Co-Principal Investigator)

ABSTRACT

This project will advance efforts of the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program to better understand and promote practices that increase student motivations and capacities to pursue careers in fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM). The project will develop and research a series of next generation augmented reality (AR) digital learning labs and incorporate the labs into an existing curriculum, STEM 21. AR has been proposed as an effective means of motivating previously disengaged students through authentic experiences. By focusing the intervention in high schools with a large proportion of underrepresented students1, the project addresses the lack of opportunities for underrepresented youth to be engaged in rigorous STEM learning that incorporates emerging technologies, aligned with 21st century workforce skills. AR is an emerging technology that brings digital information into the physical world, overlaying digital artifacts onto the physical environment that can then be accessed via a mobile phone, a tablet, or wearable technology. STEM21 is a project-based learning model which has been successfully replicated in high schools with diverse study bodies and has resulted in improvement in student self-reported interest in STEM and STEM-related postsecondary study; science achievement; soft skills; and sense of belonging and self-regulation. The STEM21 curriculum includes six existing project-based high school biology, chemistry, engineering, earth and energy, and manufacturing courses. The AR learning labs will be specifically designed to heighten student motivation for STEM learning, increase interest in STEM-related education and careers, and deepen collaboration skills. AR facilitates many of the components of project-based learning: it offers students multiple types and sources of information to synthesize and evaluate, grounds the learning process in authentic real-world experiences, and provides virtual and face-to-face communication for collaborative problem solving. The AR learning labs will be hosted on the project?s web-based learning platform and will be able to be accessed by students and teachers on any mobile device with an Internet connection. The project will support teacher professional development thru includes a summer Institute, onsite and virtual coaching, and professional learning communities. At project end, the project AR learning lab series and curricular resources will be published under an Open Education Resource (OER) license and disseminated statewide with the support of the CT State Department of Education (CSDE).

The project’s research will investigate the contexts and conditions that support the integration of new technologies, such as AR, into core STEM content and will contribute to the limited research on effective pedagogy and pedagogical environments to achieve equitable STEM learning in high school settings. The AR learning labs will be tested, iterated, and implemented in ten diverse high school settings (30 Classes with a total of approximately 900 students) over the three-year project to assess their effectiveness. The research will contribute to the limited literature on the integration of AR with STEM instructional methods to concurrently enhance STEM-related non-cognitive skills and technical AR skills among secondary students. Researchers will assess student outcomes in STEM motivation and interest, and in collaboration skills associated with participation in the project model. In addition, researchers will examine differences in student experiences in diverse secondary school settings and among underrepresented students, thereby providing information relevant to future scaling. Additional areas of study include how student experiences and outcomes vary in relation to a range of STEM subjects and AR applications present in the learning labs, and how engagement in AR lab activities relates to STEM motivation and interest. Formative assessment results, feasibility and usability data, and yearly analyses of the outcomes and fidelity of implementation will be used to design, develop, and test the AR learning Lab series and curricular resources iteratively. Researchers will use measures that have demonstrated reliability and validity with similar student populations.

This award reflects NSF’s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

 

 

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AwardsInventXRMovement ThinkingThe Research University

Researching the Integration of Robotics into Middle School Physical Science Courses: Examining Instructional and Learning Outcomes

Sponsor: TERC Inc

Debra Bernstein [email protected] (Principal Investigator)
Michael Cassidy (Co-Principal Investigator)
Karen Mutch-Jones (Co-Principal Investigator)
Kristen Wendell (Co-Principal Investigator)

ABSTRACT

As computing has become integral to the practice of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the STEM+Computing program seeks to address emerging challenges in computational STEM areas through the applied integration of computational thinking and computing activities within STEM teaching and learning in early childhood education through high school (PreK-12). Robotic technologies provide innovative ways of engaging students in computational thinking (CT) practices within STEM fields, but teachers may be reluctant to use robotics if they do not feel confident with the technology, or when they feel unprepared to make the technology relevant to their subject areas. This project responds to such reluctance by designing, testing, and refining a professional development program for middle school physical science teachers to: 1) develop and strengthen skills in robotics, programming, and identifying ways of using robotics to enhance the teaching and learning of physical science concepts, and 2) design integrated curriculum units that advance student CT skills and support learning in the physical sciences. The project will develop a comprehensive, 50-hour professional learning experience for middle school teachers who will develop learning modules that integrate computational thinking with physical science. After the professional learning experience, teachers will be supported in revising an existing physical science unit to incorporate computational thinking and robotics using a Hummingbird Bit robotics kit. The professional learning plan will begin with a 5-day summer session where teachers will examine exemplars of robotics integration in STEM lessons, explore robotics resources, and consider ways that robotics and CT can be used to enhance student learning in a curriculum unit on force and motion. During the following academic year, teachers will design and implement a lesson that integrates robotics with study of force and motion, and this experience will be followed by two professional learning days where teachers will discuss the successes and challenges of the implemented lessons. Prior to spring semester, teachers will meet together again for a day of lesson planning.

This project aims to advance knowledge about how to support teachers as designers of technology-enhanced instruction that integrates computing and CT with topics in physical science. The specific goals of project are to: 1) Design, test, and refine a professional development model that enables middle school physical science teachers to design instructional units that incorporate robotics to enhance student CT practices and support disciplinary learning objectives, 2) Identify the types and levels of supports that enable teachers to successfully implement integrated robotics units to increase engagement and interests among diverse learners, and 3) Conduct research to refine the professional development model and document the impacts of engaging students with computational technologies on learning of physical science and CT. Over the course of three years, the project will engage 22 teachers and approximately 1,120 middle school students. Project research will proceed in a design-test-revise cycle in pursuing answers to the following research questions: 1) How can a professional development intervention enable integration of robotics into physical science courses? 2) To what extent does teacher enactment reflect the goals and principles of the approach to integration, and what challenges do teachers face during enactment? 3) How does participation in integrated robotics lessons support student learning in the discipline? And 4) What opportunities does participation in integrated robotics lessons provide for students to engage in computational thinking practices? A variety of data sources will be used to collect the quantitative and qualitative data to be used in the mixed-methods analysis of teacher, student, and classroom outcomes.

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AwardsInventXRMovement ThinkingNSFThe Research University

Innovations in Development: Community-Driven Projects That Adapt Technology for Environmental Learning in Nature Preserves

Sponsor: University of Maryland College Park

Jennifer Preece [email protected] (Principal Investigator)
Tamara Clegg (Co-Principal Investigator)

ABSTRACT

While low-income and minority communities suffer disproportionately from poor environmental conditions, members of these communities tend to be under-represented in participatory scientific projects and informal science learning opportunities. There are many benefits to community-driven STEM projects, both for individuals’ experiential learning and for the betterment of communities. Expanding participation also contributes to a more complete understanding of complex environmental problems, including STEM content and skills. This project engages members of racially and economically diverse communities in identifying and carrying out environmental projects that are meaningful to their lives, and adapts technology known as NatureNet to assist them. NatureNet, which encompasses a cell phone app, a multi-user, touch-based tabletop display and a web-based community, was developed with prior NSF support. Core participants involved in programs of the Anacostia Watershed Society in Washington, D.C., and Maryland, and the Reedy Creek Nature Preserve in Charlotte, NC, will work with naturalists, educators, and technology specialists to ask scientific questions and form hypotheses related to urban waterway restoration and preservation of native species. They will then collect and analyze data using NatureNet, requesting changes to the technology to customize it as needed for their projects. Casual visitors to the nature centers will be able to interact with the environmental projects via the tabletop, and those who live farther away will be able to participate more peripherally via the online community. This study is funded by the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program, which seeks to advance new approaches to, and evidence-based understanding of, the design and development of STEM learning in informal environments. This includes providing multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences, advancing innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments, and developing understandings of deeper learning by participants.

The research project, led by researchers from the University of Maryland, College Park, with collaborators from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and the University of Colorado, Boulder, will provide answers to two questions: 1) How do community-driven informal environmental learning projects impact participants, including their motivation to actively participate in science issues via technology and their disposition toward nature preserves and scientific inquiry, and 2) What are the key factors (e.g., demographic composition of participants, geographical location) that influence the development of community-driven environmental projects? Researchers will gather extensive qualitative and quantitative data to understand how community projects are selected and carried out, how participants approach technology use and adaptation, and how informal learning and engagement on STEM-related issues can be fostered over a period of several months and through iterative project cycles. Data will be collected through motivation questionnaires; focus groups; interviews; tabletop, mobile, and website interaction logs; field notes from participatory design and reflection sessions; and project journals kept by nature preserve staff. Through extensive research, iterative design, and evaluation efforts, researchers will develop an innovative model for community-driven environmental projects that will deepen informal science education by demonstrating how members of diverse communities connect environmental knowledge and scientific inquiry skills to the practices, values, and goals of their communities, and how technology can be used to facilitate such connections.

 

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AwardsInventXRMovement ThinkingNSF

A Youth-Led Citizen Science Network for Community Environmental Assessment

Sponsor: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

Georgia Bracey [email protected] (Principal Investigator)
Sharon Locke (Co-Principal Investigator)
Ben Greenfield (Co-Principal Investigator)
Adriana Martinez (Co-Principal Investigator)

ABSTRACT

This project will advance efforts of the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program to better understand and promote practices that increase student motivations and capacities to pursue careers in fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) by developing a technology-rich, out-of-school time STEM program for underserved middle and high school youth. The new program features citizen science activities involving mobile sensors, drones, mapping software, and other technologies associated with environmental science data collection and careers. Four learning modules will be developed that focus on air, noise, and soil pollution, and how factors associated with land use contribute to different types of pollution. Field data will be compared to land cover classifications to examine how pollutants are related to and influenced by natural and built environments. Participants will also use their developing technology skills to communicate their findings to larger audiences using a website, digital stories, videos, and citizen science cafes. In the science cafes, youth will gain leadership skills by guiding their parents or caregivers, siblings, and the community at large in citizen science activities. This project extends the typical pattern of citizen science projects by having participants go beyond joining established citizen science projects to initiating their own projects grounded in issues and affordances of their local communities. If successful, the model from this project has the potential to be broadly adapted to other communities and linked to research of local or regional interest or importance.

This design and development project will directly engage 45 students in grades 8 and 9, with potential for reaching over 300 individuals as participants’ families and community members become involved in citizen science cafes. Most project activities will take place at government subsidized housing sites. The program progresses through five elements: curriculum development, instructor preparation, immersive summer sessions, school-year sessions for participating youth, and citizen science cafes. The project will develop four teaching modules: Air Pollution, Noise Pollution, Soil Pollution, and Natural and Built Environments. Students will gain experience with field research methods while learning to collect high-quality data using various sensors and related technologies. They will use the data to answer scientific questions. A mixed methods approach will be employed to examine outcomes related to the research questions: (1) How does participation in community-focuses environmental citizen science impact the development of three aspects of science: performance, competence, and recognition as a scientist?(2) To what extent and how does participation in community-focused environmental citizen science activities move youth towards full participation in the science community? and (3) How do levels of performance, competence, and recognition influence progress towards full participation in the science community? Data sources will include a student science identity survey, a test of relevant knowledge, a student interview protocol, a student observation protocol, student artifact rubrics, and a parent/caregiver interview protocol. Interviews will be conducted with student participants at regular intervals, and with parents/caregivers at the end of program sessions.

This project will expand the existing ITEST portfolio by addressing important questions relating to community-relevant curricula, linkages of formal and informal education, and examining potential new elements of STEM learning ecosystems, including the use of student-initiated citizen science endeavors and youth-led citizen science cafes. Through the embedded research, this project will also advance understanding of science identity development and its relationship to STEM occupational choices.

 

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AwardsInventXRMovement ThinkingNSFThe Research University

Trans-disciplinary Education in Biology and Engineering Technology

Sponsor: University of Cincinnati Main Campus

Stephanie Rollmann [email protected] (Principal Investigator)
John Layne (Co-Principal Investigator)
Kathie Maynard (Co-Principal Investigator)
Anna DeJarnette (Co-Principal Investigator)
Dieter Vanderelst (Co-Principal Investigator)
Bridgette Peteet (Former Co-Principal Investigator)

ABSTRACT

This project focuses on increasing diversity in STEM and increasing student and teacher experiences and competency in the fields of biology and engineering. An integrated education program at the intersection of biology and engineering – the sensory guidance of behavior in biological organisms and autonomous robots – will be developed and studied. The project will consist of: (a) an integrated three-week summer program for rising 12th-grade students and in-service secondary education teachers; (b) a college credit course and workshops for students during their 12th grade school year, and; (c) paid summer internships upon graduation. In these programs, students will engage in hands-on biological investigations to learn how animals sense and respond to their environments. They will then integrate scientific principles with authentic engineering technology to build and program robots based on animals. The robots will be equipped with sensors and behaviors and execute tasks designed by the students. Subsequent internships will serve to further connect student knowledge of integrated biology and engineering with real-world experiences. Creating this program under the framework of animal/robot sensorimotor systems is particularly timely since biology and robotics are producing exciting, emerging technologies and are major growth industries. This project will advance efforts of the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program to better understand and promote practices that increase student motivations and capacities to pursue careers in fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM).

The research seeks to (1) increase awareness and participation of underrepresented groups in STEM fields; (2) increase interest, attitudes, knowledge, and self-efficacy in biology, engineering, and technology fields and occupations, and; (3) develop a model to educate students and to train teachers in concepts that examine the interrelatedness between science and engineering. The project’s formative and summative evaluation methods, including surveys, focus groups, and open-ended evaluations of workshop and internship experiences, will be used to study these issues. The research will contribute new insights into integrated STEM curricula and how they support students in developing and sustaining interests in learning and working in scientific fields. The project also engages underrepresented youth in critical thinking, problem-solving, and real-world investigations in biology and engineering that may lead them to pursue STEM careers.

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AwardsInventXRMovement ThinkingNSFSuperintendentsThe Research University

The Research University: Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education Resource Center

Sponsor: Madison Area Technical College

Kenneth Walz [email protected] (Principal Investigator)
Kathleen Alfano (Co-Principal Investigator)
Joel Shoemaker (Co-Principal Investigator)
Andrew McMahan (Co-Principal Investigator)

ABSTRACT

Over the past decade, renewable energy has grown at a much faster pace than many other industry sectors. This growth results from recent technological advances, government policy and regulatory reforms, and tremendous reductions in the cost of solar and wind equipment. As a result, the electricity sector is now engaged in a dramatic shift from energy obtained from fossil fuels to energy obtained from renewable resources. STEM careers in renewable energy provide technicians with well-paying jobs that can support families, that cannot be easily exported, and that benefit the local community. The Resource Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education (CREATE) aims to support preparation of a new generation of renewable energy educators and skilled technical professionals. The expected outcomes include greater use of renewable energy, an improved power infrastructure, greater resilience of US energy systems, and a larger role for the United States as a global industry leader in renewable energy technology.

CREATE will support two-year institutions to develop, promote, grow, and advance robust academic programs to provide the renewable energy industry with a skilled technical workforce. This goal will be accomplished through six key objectives: 1) provide support, mentoring, and professional development for faculty and prospective NSF principal investigators in renewable energy technology; 2) coordinate and support additional renewable energy industry, business, and academic partnerships; 3) educate the public about renewable energy and renewable energy technician careers; 4) develop, screen, validate, update, and distribute renewable energy teaching materials, curricula, and pedagogical practices; 5) connect and support existing and new ATE project Principal Investigators in renewable energy and related fields; and 6) develop a plan for achieving sustainability and institutionalization of key center functions. Additional plans include serving high school educators to create bridges to higher education. The Center will also reach out to faculty at Hispanic Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Historically Black Colleges to encourage them to apply to the ATE program. Increasing the number of women in the renewable energy fields will continue to be a focus of CREATE. This project is funded by the Advanced Technological Education program that focuses on the education of technicians for the advanced-technology fields that drive the nation’s economy.

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AwardsInventXRMovement ThinkingSuperintendentsThe Research University

The Research University: The Agave Platform: An Open Science-As-A-Service Cloud Platform for Reproducible Science

Sponsor: Chapman University

Rion Dooley [email protected] (Principal Investigator)

ABSTRACT

In today’s data-driven research environment, the ability to easily and reliably access compute, storage, and derived data sources is as much a necessity as the algorithms used to make the actual discoveries. The earth is not shrinking, it is digitizing, and the ability for US researchers to stay competitive in the global research community will increasingly be determined by their ability to reduce the time from theory to discovery. Over the last 5 years, the open source commercial sector has greatly outpaced the academic research world in its growth and adoption of programming languages, infrastructure design, and interface development. Problems that were primarily academic in nature several years ago are now common in the commercial world. Terms like big data, business intelligence, remote visualization, and streaming event processing, have moved from the classroom to the board room. However, academic projects are largely unable to take advantage of many today’s most popular and widely used open source technologies within the context of their campus and shared research infrastructure. The recently completed, NSF funded, Science Gateway Institute planning project revealed just how far behind many communities are. In a survey of over 26,000 NSF-funded PIs, science gateway developers, and leaders in higher education (i.e., CIOs, CTOs, and others), over 85% of respondents said they needed help adapting existing technologies to realize the needs of their gateway. Another 80% said they needed help simply understanding what technologies were available to them. The research community doesn’t just see the gap, they live it. This project seeks to quickly close the capability gap between academic and commercial infrastructure by extending and making robust the Agave Platform, an open, Science-as-a-Service cloud platform for reproducible science. Essentially, this project will allow scientists to focus their energies on their science rather than so much on the computing technologies they use.

This Agave Platform will build upon the success of the existing Agave Developer APIs which currently serve over 20,000 users in the plant biology community. This project includes three well-defined efforts which will synergistically evolve the current technology into a sustainable Science-as-a-Service platform for the national research community. First,it will extend the Agave Developer APIs with additional services and management interfaces to create a cohesive, self-provisioning Agave Platform which will enable Science-as-a-Service to the developer community. Second, the project team will partner with commercial and academic institutions to create a community driven Application Exchange (AX) based on Docker container technology to facilitate application transparency, portability, attribution, and reproducibility. Third, the project will consolidate existing open source contributions from projects already with the Agave ecosystem into Agave ToGo, a collection of reference science gateways in multiple languages and web frameworks. The Agave Platform will democratize access to software and infrastructure across all areas of science and engineering by modernizing the mechanisms with which the research community can utilize and access academic research infrastructure. This will bridge the gap between industrial and academic research infrastructure and allow researchers to use a new generation of open source software and technologies. The AX will enable greater interoperability and accountability in the way computational science results are published and reviewed. Through the matching investment of industrial partners, reproducibility, best practices, and rigorous scientific review will be brought to the mainstream and promoted as a fundamental aspect of the scientific process in an open, sustainable way. Agave ToGo will make custom gateways readily available to end users and developers alike. For end users, it will empower them to focus on domain science rather than computer science. For developers, it will stimulate innovation and increase the opportunity for discovery. When combined with the Agave Platform and Application Exchange, Agave ToGo will enable novice users to create scalable, reproducible, digital labs that span their office, commercial cloud, and national data centers in a matter of minutes.

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AwardsInventXRMovement ThinkingThe Research University

Data Visualization Literacy: Research and Tools that Advance Public Understanding of Scientific Data

Sponsor: Indiana University

Katy Borner [email protected] (Principal Investigator)
Kylie Peppler (Co-Principal Investigator)
Bryan Kennedy (Co-Principal Investigator)
Stephen Uzzo (Co-Principal Investigator)
Joe Heimlich (Co-Principal Investigator)

ABSTRACT

As the world is increasingly dependent upon computing and computational processes associated with data analysis, it is essential to gain a better understanding of the visualization technologies that are used to make meaning of massive scientific data. It is also essential that the infrastructure, the very means by which technologies are developed for improving the public’s engagement in science itself, be better understood. Thus, this AISL Innovations in Development project will address the critical need for the public to learn how to interpret and understand highly complex and visualized scientific data. The project will design, develop and study a new technology platform, xMacroscope, as a learning tool that will allow visitors at the Science Museum of Minnesota and the Center of Science and Industry, to create, view, understand, and interact with different data sets using diverse visualization types. The xMacroscope will support rapid research prototyping of public experiences at selected exhibits, such as collecting data on a runner’s speed and height and the visualized representation of such data. The xMacroscope will provide research opportunities for exhibit designers, education researchers, and learning scientists to study diverse audiences at science centers in order to understand how learning about data through the xMacroscope tool may inform definitions of data literacy. The research will advance the state of the art in visualization technology, which will have broad implications for teaching and learning of scientific data in both informal and formal learning environments. The project will lead to better understanding by science centers on how to present data to the public more effectively through visualizations that are based upon massive amounts of data. Technology results and research findings will be disseminated broadly through professional publications and presentations at science, education, and technology conferences. The project is funded by the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program, which seeks to advance new approaches to, and evidence-based understanding of, the design and development of STEM learning in informal environments. This includes providing multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences, advancing innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments, and developing understandings of deeper learning by participants.

The project is driven by the assumption that in the digital information age, being able to create and interpret data visualizations is an important literacy for the public. The research will seek to define, measure, and advance data visualization literacy. The project will engage the public in using the xMacrocope at the Science Museum of Minnesota and at the Center of Science and Industry’s (COSI) science museum and research center in Columbus, Ohio. In both museum settings the public will interact with different datasets and diverse types of visualizations. Using the xMacroscope platform, personal attributes and capabilities will be measured and personalized data visualizations will be constructed. Existing theories of learning (constructivist and constructionist) will be extended to capture the learning and use of data visualization literacy. In addition, the project team will conduct a meta-review related to different types of literacy and will produce a definition with performance measures to assess data visualization literacy – currently broadly defined in the project as the ability to read, understand, and create data visualizations. The research has potential for significant impact in the field of science and technology education and education research on visual learning. It will further our understanding of the nature of data visualization literacy learning and define opportunities for visualizing data in ways that are both personally and culturally meaningful. The project expects to advance the understanding of the role of personalization in the learning process using iterative design-based research methodologies to advance both theory and practice in informal learning settings. An iterative design process will be applied for addressing the research questions by correlating visualizations to individual actions and contributions, exploring meaning-making studies of visualization construction, and testing the xMacroscope under various conditions of crowdedness and busyness in a museum context. The evaluation plan is based upon a logic model and the evaluation will iteratively inform the direction, process, and productivity of the project.

"Research
AwardsInventXRMovement ThinkingNSFThe Research University

Building STEM Identity and Career Interests in Native American Students By Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and Remote Sensing Technologies

Sponsor: Regents of the University of Idaho

Karla Bradley Eitel [email protected] (Principal Investigator)
Jan Eitel (Co-Principal Investigator)
Lee Vierling (Co-Principal Investigator)
Teresa Cohn (Co-Principal Investigator)

ABSTRACT

The project is designed to develop, implement and assess an educational model intended to improve Native American student science identity through culturally relevant use of technology that can directly improve the well being of their communities. The project will engage 90 low-income, high school Native American students from the rural Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho through a program of educational activities centered on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and remote sensing. The students will be trained in UAV use focused on remote sensing of Tribal ecosystems, as well as in science communication and leadership, as part of an enhanced curriculum during an immersive residential summer program at the University of Idaho (McCall) Outdoor Science School campus, located on ancestral Nez Perce Tribal lands. During the academic year, the students at will take part in learning activities focused upon UAV and remote sensing technologies, including virtual field trips, guest speakers, and other instruction delivered via videoconference. Students will take part in hands-on remote sensing and mapping activities of ecosystems that are integral to their culture such as riparian ecosystems (which support traditional and current Tribal fisheries) and forest ecosystems. Each school year will culminate in a large-scale mapping project that will be chosen and designed, based on student and Nez Perce community member input.

The project will investigate two central research hypotheses: that science identity is increased in Native American students when they engage in technology-based projects that directly relate to their community/cultural interests, and that interest and achievement by students in STEM education is sustained when community involvement is central to the approach. The project will collect data related to three constructs of science identity theory: competence, performance and recognition. Methods will include pre- and post-program surveys, assessment of STEM concepts, reflective journaling, semi-structured interviews, focus groups, observations, and longitudinal data collection. Data generation will focus on the three constructs of science identity theory: competence, performance and recognition. Through this work, we will contribute to a model of culturally-connected science identity that expands and enhances existing understanding about science identity. This project is funded by the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program that supports projects that build understandings of best practices, program elements, contexts and processes contributing to engaging students in learning and developing interest in STEM, information and communications technology (ICT), computer science, and related STEM content and careers.

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