Thursday, September 22, 2011

Discovery Research K-12 Program

The Discovery Research K-12 program (DRK-12) seeks to significantly enhance the learning and teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) by preK-12 students, teachers, administrators and parents. All DRK-12 projects should be framed around a research question or hypothesis that addresses an important need or topic in preK-12 STEM education. The emphasis in DRK-12 is on research projects that study the development, testing, deployment, effectiveness, and/or scale-up of innovative resources, models and tools. DRK-12 invites proposals that address immediate challenges that are facing preK-12 STEM education as well as those that anticipate a radically different structure and function of pre-K 12 teaching and learning.

DRK-12 especially encourages proposals that challenge existing assumptions about learning and teaching within or across STEM fields, envision the future needs of learners, and consider new and innovative ways to support student and teacher learning. DRK-12 is particularly interested in projects that hold promise for identifying and developing the next generation of STEM innovators (NSB, 2010). There are four strands described in detail in the solicitation: 1) Assessment; 2) Learning; 3) Teaching; 4) Scale-up.DRK-12 projects are based on theories of learning, prior research and development. Projects reflect the needs of an increasingly diverse population as well as national, state, or discipline priorities. Outcomes include usable and scalable resources, models, tools, and contributions to the knowledge about STEM teaching and learning. In addition, teachers and students who participate in DRK-12 studies are expected to enhance their understanding and use of STEM content, practices and skills.The DRK-12 program is primarily concerned with the goals and effectiveness of formal education, but recognizes that learning is not limited to formal school environments and times. The program encourages projects to draw from knowledge and practice of learning in out-of-school and informal settings.Most young people and STEM professionals today use powerful technologies in the activities of their everyday lives. New knowledge, new ways of thinking, and new ways of finding and processing information drive our society and economy. Many of the resources, models and tools researched and developed by DRK-12 will provide innovative ways to use current and emerging technologies to transform STEM education.DRK-12 recognizes that outstanding teaching is a critical and integral component of this improvement process. While

Strand 3 has a specific focus on resources, models and tools for teacher education and the impact of those models on student learning, projects submitted to the other strands may also include teacher support materials or professional development components in support of student learning. Projects submitted to the Learning strand might also include the development of assessments related to the specific goals of the project. Some DRK-12 projects focus on a specific STEM discipline or concept, while others have cross-disciplinary, cross-grade level content, but all projects must demonstrate that the content is important from both a disciplinary and learning perspective. Full Research and Development projects are expected to lead to successful dissemination and adoption of findings or products in the preK-12 enterprise at a scale beyond that directly supported by the grant.

Amount: $1 million

Date due: January 10, 2012

For more information, click here.