Resources

Resources included in these libraries were submitted by ITEST projects or STELAR and are relevant to the work of the NSF ITEST Program. PDFs and/or URLs to the original resource are included in the resource description whenever possible. In some cases, full text publications are located behind publishers’ paywalls and a fee or membership to the third party site may be required for access. Permission for use must be requested through the publisher or author listed in each entry.

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Resources included in these libraries were submitted by ITEST projects or STELAR and are relevant to the work of the NSF ITEST Program. PDFs and/or URLs to the original resource are included in the resource description whenever possible. In some cases, full text publications are located behind publishers’ paywalls and a fee or membership to the third party site may be required for access. Permission for use must be requested through the publisher or author listed in each entry.

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Urban youth and the environmental commons: rejuvenating civic engagement through civic science

Publications

Civic-science integrates science knowledge with civic practice but differs from the citizen-science prototype by reframing science as a public good and citizens as both recipients of and actors in policy. We draw from our studies of a civic-science model in which adolescents (majority African-American) collaborate with teachers and community partners to mitigate an environmental problem in their urban community. Based on students’ reflections on what they learn from these projects we have developed Environmental Commons theory, referring both to the natural resources on which life depends and

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Applications of 3D Paleontological Data at the Florida Museum of Natural History

Publications
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The past decade has seen an exponential increase of innovative applications of 3D technology in the geosciences. Here, we present a case study from the Florida Museum of Natural History applied to the multidisciplinary field of paleontology. We have deployed 3D scanning and printing techniques for the purposes of scientific research, formal education, and informal outreach. Depending on the application of the 3D file, different techniques are utilized to create high-fidelity models of physical fossil specimens or geologic field sites. These techniques include X-ray CT scans, surface scans, and

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3DnST: A Framework Towards Understanding Children’s Interaction with Tinkercad and Enhancing Spatial Thinking Skills

Publications
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With the proliferation of 3D printing technologies in schools and makerspaces, there is a need for teaching 3D modeling to students. Learning 3D modeling enhances spatial thinking skills, an essential skill for success in STEM. Creating 3D models requires students to have a deep understanding of 3D space, including rotating and scaling. In this study, we propose a framework developed through video-coding from analyzing screen recordings of middle-school students’ usage of a 3D modeling tool - Tinkercad. The proposed framework focuses on identifying challenges students encounter during 3D

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Using Informed Design in Informal Computer Science Programs to Increase Youths’ Interest, Self-efficacy, and Perceptions of Parental Support

Publications

Our work is situated in research on Computer Science (CS) learning in informal learning environments and literature on the factors that influence girls to enter CS. In this article, we outline design choices around the creation of a summer programming camp for middle school youth. In addition, we describe a near-peer mentoring model we used that was influenced by Bandura's self-efficacy theory. The purpose of this article, apart from promoting transparency of program design, was to evaluate the effectiveness of our camp design in terms of increasing youths’ interest, self-efficacy beliefs, and

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Thinking and Drinking Critically: A Unit on New York City’s Water Quality

Publications
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The Flint, Michigan water crisis drew national attention to the effects of unsafe drinking water and issues of equity and social justice. It also opened up opportunities for engaging in socio-scientific issues in the science classroom (Ewing and Sadler 2020). Students consume hundreds of gallons of water daily, but do they know where their drinking water comes from and if it’s always safe to drink? A three-dimensional unit designed for upper elementary students (in this case, fourth graders) helps students answer these questions. Students follow the incredible journey of New York City’s water

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Developing and Popularizing STEM Online Tools: The Case of 'Listening to Waves' Tools for the Science of Music

Publications

Music is a source of joy and identity formation in all cultures and socio-economic strata, and its connections with science, technology, engineering, and math are numerous. One important connection is with the physics of waves. Listening to Waves (LTW) is a program designed to increase adolescents’ interest in STEM through the science of sound and music. Based on LTW’s early experience performing STEM outreach activities in schools, LTW recognized the need to create easily accessible tools for visualizing and manipulating sound. In particular, LTW has been developing browser-based

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Making Mathematics Relevant: an Examination of Student Interest in Mathematics, Interest in STEM Careers, and Perceived Relevance

Publications

Community college students face difculties in mathematics courses and may not understand the relevance of the topics they are learning to their intended career. When such connections are not made, mathematics courses can become barriers to pursuit of careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). In the present study, we assessed student interest in mathematics and various STEM career areas and students’ knowledge of ways mathematics was involved in STEM careers in order to better understand how these variables are related. We discovered that interest in mathematics

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Making Mathematics Relevant: an Examination of Student Interest in Mathematics, Interest in STEM Careers, and Perceived Relevance

Publications

Community college students face difculties in mathematics courses and may not understand the relevance of the topics they are learning to their intended career. When such connections are not made, mathematics courses can become barriers to pursuit of careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). In the present study, we assessed student interest in mathematics and various STEM career areas and students’ knowledge of ways mathematics was involved in STEM careers in order to better understand how these variables are related. We discovered that interest in mathematics

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Simulation Technology and Student Engagement

Publications

An authentic learning environment with the integration of technology can effectively engage students and improve their academic performance. Technology can support learning situations that relate to real life, and provide opportunities for inquiry and collaboration, fostering engagement. This paper will provide details of an authentic learning environment that utilizes flight simulation software to engage middle school students in the learning of several math and science concepts. Active learning lessons were developed using missions flown on the flight simulator. The pedagogical approach was

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Engagement in Practice: STEM Engagement through Mentoring

Publications

The declining levels of U.S. student achievement in mathematics and science were brought into focus by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, which stated that the U.S., especially at the elementary and secondary levels, is struggling to remain competitive with other nations in STEM education (PCAST, 2010). Furthermore, according to a report issued by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NCES, 2015), less than 30 percent of students enrolled in the U.S. are proficient in the areas of science or mathematics. The landscape becomes more troubling when one

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