Friday, February 19, 2010

Innovative Technology Experiences for Students & Teachers

The Innovative Technology Experiences for Students & Teachers (ITEST) program responds to current concerns and projections about the growing demand for professionals and information technology workers in the U.S. and seeks solutions to help ensure the breadth and depth of the STEM workforce. ITEST supports research studies to address questions about how to find solutions. It also supports the development, implementation, testing, and scale-up of implementation models. A large variety of possible approaches to improving the STEM workforce and to building student's capacity to participate in it may be implemented and studied. ITEST projects may include students or teachers, kindergarten through high school age, and any area of the STEM workforce. Projects that explore cyberlearning, specifically learning with cyberinfrastructure tools such as networked computing and communications technologies in K-12 settings, are of special interest.

This program is interested in addressing such questions as: What does it take to effectively interest and prepare students to participate in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce of the future? What are the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that students need in order to participate productively in the changing STEM workforce and be innovators, particularly in STEM-related networked computing and information and communication technology (ICT) areas? How do they acquire them? How can the Nation’s burgeoning cyberinfrastructure be harnessed as a tool for STEM learning in classrooms and informal learning environments? What will ensure that the nation has the capacity it needs to participate in transformative, innovative STEM advances? How can we assess and predict inclination to participate in the STEM fields and how can we measure and study impact of various models to encourage that participation?

Research projects enrich the understanding of issues related to enlarging the STEM workforce. Research projects may conduct efficacy and effectiveness studies of intervention models, conduct longitudinal studies of efforts to engage students in the STEM areas, develop instruments to assess engagement, persistence, and other relevant constructs of student motivation, or conduct studies to identify predictors of student inclination to pursue STEM career trajectories. The program is especially interested in projects that target students from groups that are underserved and underrepresented in STEM and ICT-intensive careers, including those residing in rural and economically disadvantaged communities.Strategies projects design, implement, and evaluate models for classroom, after-school, summer, virtual, and/or year-round learning experiences for students and/or teachers. The strategies are intended to encourage students’ readiness for, and their interest and participation in, the STEM workforce of the future. Strategies project proposals must describe the anticipated contribution to the research knowledge base about STEM career preparation in addition to immediate impacts on participants.

Amount: $300,000 - $5m

Date due: April 7, 2010

For more information, click here.