A long-term research and development initiative focused on improving science education so that all Americans can become literate in science, mathematics, and technology.
Project 2061 Research & Development Initiatives
AAAS Science Assessment Website – Science educators have easy access to more than 700 high-quality multiple choice items for testing middle and high school students' understanding of 16 important topics in earth, life, and physical science and the nature of science. The website also presents data on the state of science learning by gender and whether or not English is the student’s primary language. An online testing feature lets users select items, assemble them into tests, and administer and score the tests online. Development of the items and the website was made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Contact: George Deboer, Principal Investigator, email@example.com
Building Students’ Understanding of Energy in High School Biology - With a new grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, Project 2061 is partnering with the Genetic Science Learning Center at the University of Utah to design a multimedia six-week unit for high school biology. The new unit will support the learning goals in Next Generation Science Standards while focusing on important but often difficult core ideas and crosscutting concepts about energy in non-living and living systems. In addition, the unit will engage students in essential science practices such as analyzing data, developing and using models, and constructing their own explanations of energy-related phenomena. Contact: Jo Ellen Roseman, Principal Investigator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Green Schools as a Context for Science Learning – What opportunities do school buildings themselves provide for helping students develop a scientific foundation for making choices about energy resources and their use? In this exploratory study funded by the National Science Foundation, Project 2061 has developed an outline for a Green Schools Energy Curriculum and gathered feedback from the field on the feasibility of such an approach and what it would take to implement it. Contact: George DeBoer, Principal Investigator, email@example.com
Improving Science Assessment for English Learners (ELs) – In a study funded by the National Science Foundation, researchers at AAAS Project 2061 and WestEd are examining a large set of science assessment items to identify linguistic factors that may account for EL students’ underperformance on tests when compared to non-EL students and propose strategies for improving the items. Findings from the study will be particularly timely, given the need for new assessments that are aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards and for more effective measures of what students know regardless of their English language status. Contact: George DeBoer, Principal Investigator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Measuring Students’ Understanding of Energy - Energy issues are central to modern life, so all students need to develop a strong understanding of basic energy concepts. A first step is finding out what they already know, how their understanding builds over time, and what conceptual difficulties they are having and why. With a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Project 2061 is designing assessment instruments to evaluate students’ energy knowledge across a range of topics at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Contact: Cari Herrmann-Abell, Principal Investigator, email@example.com
- Herrmann-Abell, C. F., & DeBoer, G. E. (2015, April). Using Rasch Modeling to Explore Students’ Understanding of Elementary School Ideas About Energy. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching. Chicago, IL.
New Tools for Teaching Evolution – Working with the Genetic Science Learning Center at the University of Utah, Project 2061 is developing an innovative curriculum unit and assessments to help high schoolers understand core ideas about evolution through mathematical reasoning and data analysis. Funding for this work is provided by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Contact: Jo Ellen Roseman, Principal Investigator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Toward High School Biology – With support from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, AAAS Project 2061 is collaborating with BSCS to develop and test an innovative six-week curriculum unit designed to integrate physical and life science concepts to help middle school students understand chemical reactions and their role in the growth and repair of living organisms. Field test results show that students using the new unit, which is designed to align with the three dimensions of science learning called for in the Next Generation Science Standards, have shown significant learning gains. Contact: Jo Ellen Roseman, Principal Investigator, email@example.com
- Roseman, J. E., Fortus, D., Krajcik, J., & Reiser, B. J. (2015, April). Curriculum Materials for Next Generation Science Standards: What the Science Education Research Community Can Do. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching. Chicago, IL.
WeatherSchool@AAAS Website - This online tool lets students analyze patterns in real-world data collected by weather stations, satellites, and other observation sites on land and sea. Supported by NASA and NOAA, this effort is also producing assessments that educators can use to get a better picture of what students know and don’t know about weather and climate concepts. Contact: George DeBoer, Co-Principal Investigator, firstname.lastname@example.org