ACT: Addressing the Complexity of Teaching

ACT will develop and study an innovative model for a coordinated program of undergraduate science and education courses that focus on prospective teachers as learners. The purpose will be to develop teachers who learn science in ways they are expected to teach science as articulated in reform documents such as Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Sciences in Grades K-8 and the Framework for K12 Science Education (National Research Council, 2007, 2011). Contact: Sue Ann Bottoms, Kathryn Ciechanowski, Matt Nyman & Emily van Zee

Algebra in Context

Algebra in Context addressed the achievement gap for low SES freshman studying Algebra I by applying research-based, mathematical teaching practices in three distinct contexts--mathematics, science, and career technical education classes. The project was conducted in the School of IDEAS, one of three Gates-supported small schools (< 400) at North Eugene High School, who deliver coordinated instruction in algebraic reasoning to approximately 300 freshmen in a non-tracked algebra program. Contact: Rebekah Elliott & Larry Flick 

Science and Engineering in the Lives of Students 

A partnership with Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Science Media Group, Chemeketa and Rogue Community Colleges, and Vernier Software & Technology. The project has produced a website (release Summer 2013) containing video examples of how science is used in construction engineering contexts. The central principle is to explore science that students actually use or experience in everyday living. The activities, web links, and other resources are organized to explore the science topics of thermodynamics, electricity, and mechanics of materials. Contact: Larry Flick 

Strengthening Yields in Mathematics through Metrics, Evaluation, and Teaching, Research to Improve Educational Systems (Symmetries)

Symmetries applies the improvement science process of networked improvement communities to the problem of student performance in mathematics and, eventually, to other STEM subjects from elementary to college within a K-16 partnership. The target of our work is supporting successful mathematics transitions from elementary school through college, i.e. math transitions from elementary school to middle school to high school to college. We argue that mathematics is a lynchpin for student academic success. Contact: Larry Flick


VISTA translates research-based best teaching practices into improved science teaching and student learning for all students at all levels. For elementary teachers, VISTA provides professional development and coaching to support inclusion of inquiry-based and explicit nature of science instruction in the context of problem-based learning. For early career middle and high school teachers, VISTA professional development and coaching emphasizes how to effectively teach inquiry-based science with and without technology, how to use student performance to drive future instruction, and how to adapt instruction for diverse learners. Contact: Randy Bell