Ambitious Mathematics and Science Teaching Network - Math Practice Cycle

  • AMS centers on a premise that to learn skilled instructional practice that attends to ambitious learning goals for each and every student there are three essential components: (1) teachers need to examine teaching using student work, lesson plans, video of teaching/learning; (2) they need to engage in guided or scaffolded opportunities to teach; and (3) they need focused feedback and assessment on the quality of instruction. Participants include teacher candidates, teachers, and teacher leaders who work collaboratively in classroom embedded professional learning with tools that support the incremental improvement of science and mathematics instruction.  Through research and dissemination of innovations the project informs the work of teacher education more broadly. Currently this project is supported via grants from the National Science Foundation and the Oregon Department of Education. Contact: Rebekah Elliott and Wendy Aaron

Building Capacity to Improve STEM Hub Effectiveness Through Evaluative Thinking

  • The Oregon STEM Hubs are regionally-focused, multi-sector partnerships that unite schools, universities, non-profits, businesses, civic leaders and communities in local STEM learning ecosystems in order to drive STEM innovation and evidence-based practices in teaching and learning at the systems level. A key goal of STEM Hubs is to reduce or eliminate inequities in opportunities for students of color, those in poverty, and those who are embedded in sub-communities where education and learning is undervalued.  Due to the complexity of regional partnerships and the relative newness of the concept of STEM learning ecologies or local STEM learning ecosystems, much is still unknown about how to best design STEM Hubs for maximum impact and sustainability.  Our project examines the growth and success of the STEM Hubs and builds STEM Hubs’ capacity for evaluative thinking by supporting the Hubs in engaging in better data-driven decision-making/continuous improvement.  The project involves collaboration between the OSU Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning and the College of Education.  Contacts: Martin Storksdieck and Jana Bouwma-Gearhart 


  • Oregon State University, like many others, is on the brink of a transformation where the bodies of scholarship concerning teaching and learning are being applied inward to comprehensively examine and evolve the institutions own practices. Our focus is in inspiring and studying change concerning teaching and learning in OSU’s large-enrollment introductory STEM courses. The ESTEME @ OSU (Enhancing STEM Education at Oregon State University) project is focusing on increasing the use of evidence-based instructional practices (EBIPs) to enhance the effectiveness of STEM classes. The project is supported by the National Science Foundation's WIDER program with project investigators, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students across the STEM disciplines and the College of Education.  Jana Bouwma-Gearhart is lead researcher concerning the project’s impact on organizational learning and change.  Contact:  Jana Bouwma-Gearhart

FIESTAS (Families Involved in Education: Sociocultural Teaching and STEM) 

  • collaborative project between OSU’s College of Education, 4H Youth Development, and the Science and Math Investigative Learning Experiences (SMILE) program. The purpose is to enhance the knowledge of STEM related topics of Latino and underrepresented youth in the 3rd to 5th grades. The primary reason for this age range is to reach youth early in their schooling, especially those underrepresented in STEM fields. Because of the changing demographics of the K-12 population, which do not align with the demographic of the preservice teacher demographics, we think that engagement with culturally and linguistically diverse youth is needed. Contact: SueAnn Bottoms 

Free-Choice Learning Lab

  • Oregon Sea Grant‘s Free-Choice Learning Lab uses real-time assessment and evaluation allowing visitors at the Hatfield Marine Science Center Visitors Center the opportunity to construct knowledge across learning contexts and become active participants in research. The project funded by NSF has three components: 1) deployment of cyberlab evaluation tools including facial recognition software, 2) development of three research platforms and associated research, and 3) development of an ISE Cyber Scholars program that brings ISE professionals from around the country to work in the setting to develop their own research questions and building capacity for similar work in different sites. All research tools and data are available remotely allowing graduate students and faculty studying learning at OSU in multiple programs to do their research at the coast from Corvallis. Contact: Shawn Rowe 

Mid Valley Mid Coast Partnership (MVMCP)

  • The Mid-Valley-Mid-Coast Partnership (MVMCP), established in 2004, is a partnership of local educational leaders in Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley-mid-Pacific Coast region. By focusing on collaboration opportunities among educational institutions in the region’s school districts from pre-K through university, the MVMCP assists the local educational communities in identifying opportunities for improving the performance of the region’s students and teachers and for sharing resources. The MVMCP convenes once a month during the academic year. In addition, individual members frequently meet informally to discuss issues of interest. Contact: Rebekah Elliott and Martin Storskdieck

Numbers in Nature

  • The Numbers in Nature, Math on the Mountain Project is a Teacher-Scientist Partnership in which teachers and scientists are working together to bring real world data into the classroom for Central Oregon students.  The data are drawn from or related to the scientists’ work at OSU’s HJ Andrews Experimental Forest and Mount Bachelor and help to tell the story of those places.  Together the teachers and scientists are creating 4th-12th grade science and math curriculum to support data literacy and address Oregon science and math standards.  The curricula rely heavily on the teachers’ field experiences with the scientists in the experimental forest and on the mountain.  In addition to supporting this collaborative professional development and curriculum development, the project team is studying the collaborative process and outcomes and will share our findings to support others who are implementing such partnerships. Contact: Michael Giamellaro

Oregon Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership (OMTEP)

  • An APLU-SMTI sponsored project that plays a significant role in furthering work already underway in Oregon. The Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership offers broad opportunities for the OMTEP to share strategic goals, new knowledge and strategies among institutions around the country in the critical area of mathematics teacher education. We take teacher education to mean both the academic preparation and internship experiences for new teachers and the professional development of professional teachers and university faculty in collaborative partnerships. As with all disciplined inquiry, partners will commit to observe critique, reflect, and debate the efficacy of their work in the light of high quality data collected in a variety of formats. The Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSSM) imply a new way of doing business that requires a long-term view of changing how mathematics is taught. Contact: Rebekah Elliott

Research in Mathematics Leader Learning

  • RMLL is a large-scale, multi-site, two-phased research cycle with WestEd and the University of Washington through a $2.2 million National Science Foundation research grant. RMLL is a qualitative and quantitative study of 70 leaders with a 40-leader comparison group and 13 video-based case studies of leaders working with more than 150 teachers. In addition to complex research design in sites distributed across the United States, as part of the study, we have written two series of video and narrative case-based modules and developed over 100 hours of materials for leaders. Contact: Rebekah Elliott 

Synergies in the Parkrose Community

  • A four-year longitudinal study, funded by the Noyce and Lemelson Foundations, to understand how, when, where, why and with whom children access and use STEM resources in their daily lives. The premise of SYNERGIES is that if one better understands how children become interested and engaged with STEM (or not) across settings, time and space, it will be possible to create a community-wide, research-based educational system that is more effective and synergistic. Underlying this applied research is the creation of a complex Agent-Based computer model of STEM learning activity within Parkrose. This model will allow Parkrose citizens, STEM educators and learning researchers to visualize the multi-dimensional dynamics of STEM learning engaged in by Parkrose children: in school, watching TV, visiting museums and natural areas, and surfing the Internet, etc. It will also be a tool to test the power of possible educational interventions designed to improve the STEM learning system in Parkrose that can be broadly applied to long-term STEM education improvements locally, nationally and internationally. Components of the project are currently being replicated in Colorado and South Korea. Contact: John Falk & Lynn Dierking 

Teachers Educating All Multilingual Students (TEAMS) 

  • This collaborative project focuses on increasing teachers’ knowledge and skills for effectively educating English learners (ELs). Supported by a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education Office of English Language Acquisition, TEAMS will support 80 Oregon teachers in completing a series of OSU Ecampus classes to earn their English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) endorsement or their Dual Language Specialization. Participating teachers will also learn more about family and community engagement by partnering with local community organizations to co-design and co-lead education-focused community events. A rigorous evaluation, using quasi-experimental methods, will provide information about the impact of the program on participating teachers and on K-12 student outcomes. This project is conducted in partnership with Education Northwest and five Oregon districts (Beaverton, Bend-La Pine, Corvallis, Greater Albany, and Springfield). Contact: Karen Thompson

The Making of Engineers – Influence of Makerspaces on the Preparation of Undergraduates as Engineers

  • Makerspaces are physical locations that include equipment and tools to allow its users to create and invent prototypes, develop ideas into models, and collaborate to design new products and solutions. The increased attention makerspaces are receiving in the STEM disciplines, and particularly within engineering education, provides justification for examining the influence of these spaces on undergraduate student development into professionals. Funded by the National Science Foundation, College faculty and graduate students are conducting six case studies of university engineering education makerspace programs to determine the influence of makerspaces on the professional formation of undergraduate engineering students and the use and impact of makerspaces on faculty members.  Building upon the case studies, the project will develop and disseminate a national survey to engineering education students and faculty members working in makerspace-affiliated engineering education programs. Data gathered from this project will document the sustainability and scalability of makerspaces in engineering education programs through examination of undergraduate engineering education students, faculty, programs, and institutions.  Contact:  Jana Bouwma-Gearhart

The Oregon Department of Education/Oregon State University English Learner Partnership 

  • This researcher-practitioner partnership focuses on analyzing data about English learners (ELs) in Oregon in ways that improve policy and practice in the state. Supported by funding from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and the Spencer Foundation, the partnership has investigated a variety of policy and practice questions, such as the time necessary for ELs in the state to attain English proficiency, the effect of exiting EL services on later outcomes, and whether EL students with disabilities are disproportionately represented in special education. Research from the partnership has been featured in variety of settings, including a briefing on Capitol Hill for U.S. Senate staffers, a presentation to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and in peer-reviewed journals, including the Centennial Issue of the American Educational Research Journal. Findings have directly impacted state policies and practices and influenced the national dialogue about both EL policy and research-practitioner partnerships. Contact: Karen Thompson

Tracking the Processes of Data Driven Decision-Making In Higher Education

  • This project concerns the cognitive, social, and organizational factors that shape how STEM faculty plan and teach their courses, and implications for organizational change. The study uses a longitudinal mixed methods case study design to study decision-making and instructional practice over the course of three years at three research universities with active STEM education projects, treating teaching as a multi-dimensional practice that cannot be reduced to a single data point, and instead is comprised of course planning, classroom practice that is studied using the Teaching Dimensions Observation Protocol (TDOP), and student interpretations of teaching efficacy. After each round of data analysis, reports are provided to STEM education leaders, and analysts will then assess the utility of these data by interviewing these leaders in each year of the project. This project was previously funded by the National Science Foundation and involved faculty and students from OSU and University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Contact:  Jana Bouwma-Gearhart