Cultural Relevance, Equity, and Diversity

Connected Science Learning: Call for Contributions for the 9th Issue

Theme for Ninth Issue (to be published in winter 2019): Encouraging Youth to Pursue STEM Careers

Contributions are due August 15, 2018

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National Science Foundation - Instructional Materials Development Program

This document presents the final report on the evaluation of the Instructional Materials Development (IMD) program of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and focuses on issues related to the development, dissemination, adoption, implementation, and impact of new instructional materials. The IMD program evaluates products at each step, from product development to classroom use. Instruments are included for evaluating elementary and secondary school science and mathematics materials for classroom use.

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The Synergies Project: Preliminary Results and Insights from Two Years of Longitudinal Survey Research

Our study seeks to improve understanding of how STEM interest develops during adolescence, and how a variety of community resources and out-of-school activities support that development. Our 4-year, Synergies project is a longitudinal study that documents STEM interest and participation trajectories of a cohort of middle school-aged youth as they progress from 5th through 8th grade.

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The Synergies Research–Practice Partnership Project: A 2020 Vision Case Study

This paper, describes Synergies, an on-going longitudinal study and design effort, being conducted in a diverse, under-resourced community in Portland, Oregon, with the goal of measurably improving STEM learning, interest and participation by early adolescents, both in school and out of school.

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Sources of Middle School Science/Mathematics Self-efficacy Scale

MATHEMATICS SCALE: The purpose of this study was to develop and validate items with which to assess A. Bandura’s (1997) theorized sources of self-efficacy among middle school mathematics students. Results from Phase 1 (N = 1111) were used to develop and refine items for subsequent use. In Phase 2 of the study (N = 824), a 39-item, four-factor exploratory model fit best. Items were revised to strengthen psychometric properties. In Phase 3 (N = 803), a 24-item, four-factor confirmatory factor model fit best. This final model was invariant across gender and ethnicity.

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OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)

The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a collaborative effort among OECD member countries to measure how well 15-year-old students approaching the end of compulsory schooling are prepared to meet the challenges of today’s knowledge societies. The assessment is forward-looking: rather than focusing on the extent to which these students have mastered a specific school curriculum, it looks at their ability to use their knowledge and skills to meet real-life challenges.

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Rating of Mother-Child Interactions

This study examined relations between ratings of mother-child interactions in a problem-solving situation at school entry and academic achievement in grades 2, 3, and 4. Data on the child's cognitive and fine-motor ability and mother's education were also collected at school entry. Academic achievement was assessed with the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS). A factor score reflecting mother-child competence in the interaction situation correlated approximately .40 with ITBS total and subtest scores in grades 2, 3, and 4.

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The Nature Relatedness Scale

Disconnection from the natural world may be contributing to our planet's destruction. The authors propose a new construct, Nature Relatedness (NR), and a scale that assesses the affective, cognitive, and experiential aspects of individuals' connection to nature. In Study 1, the authors explored the internal structure of the NR item responses in a sample of 831 participants using factor analysis. They tested the construct validity of NR with respect to an assortment of environmental and personality measures.

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Leveraging a Multi-Partner Approach to Develop Successful STEM Outreach Programs

Careers in the U.S. that require STEM knowledge have grown rapidly, reinforcing the need to develop a future workforce that is prepared to meet growing business needs and solve global challenges. Considering that there is a low number of students pursuing STEM degrees and the low percentages of minority students in the STEM pipeline, STEM education has been a focus of local and national education curriculum reform efforts.

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Design Fixation

The purpose of this article is to provide awareness of the danger of design fixation and promote the uses of brainstorming early in the design process--before fixation limits creative ideas. The authors challenged technology teachers to carefully limit the use of design examples too early in the process and provided suggestions for facilitating brainstorming sessions to help generate innovative ideas.

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