Kristen Wendell, NSF CAREER grant, with Tejaswini Dalvi
Community-Based Engineering has elementary school teachers
consider real problems (e.g. increasing frequency of
flooding on MBTA tracks) and develop possible solutions
(prototyping flood barriers). The research studies how these
experiences affects how they teach engineering, especially
in schools serving communities that have had limited access
||Designing Biomimetic Robots
Kristen Wendell and Ethan Danahy are collaborating Debra Bernstein and Gilly Puttick
at TERC to use educational robotics — specifically the
Hummingbird Robot kit — to develop, refine, and study the
impact of a biomimetic robotics design curriculum for sixth
through eighth grade students. The project is funded by NSF.
||The Hybrid Labs Project
PI Julia Gouvea and Aditi
Wagh, funded by the Davis Foundation
The Hybrid Labs project
undergraduate biology laboratories that couple computational
modeling and experimentation and training graduate student
TA's in new pedagogy. Research in the project will study
both undergraduate students' and graduate TA's learning, of
practices in science and approaches to teaching.
||Re-making STEM: Integrating Computational Making into STEM Teaching
Tufts PI's Brian Gravel, James Adler, Tim Atherton, and Aditi Wagh, funded by NSF
This is a two-year partnership with TERC, Olin College of Engineering, Malden High School, and
Cambridge Rindge and Latin. The project is to integrate
computational practices into STEM content classrooms, and
from there to study teacher and student learning.
Here is a sampling of the research currently (and formerly) going
on by faculty in the department. Take a look, and feel free to get
in touch with any of us for more information, with questions, and
with ideas for collaboration.
||Children's Mathematical Representations
Bárbara M. Brizuela
The Children's Mathematical Representations project investigates children's early
learning of mathematical notations. It builds from the assumption that
conventional knowledge is built on prior understandings. From this assumption,
it follows that children's ideas about mathematical notations could be
constitutive of their later conventional understandings. One of the central
tasks of the investigation is to document how children initially represent
numerical and mathematical understandings and how and why their expressive
repertoire changes over time.
||Dynamics of Learners' Engagement and Persistence in Science
Dynamics of Learners' Engagement and Persistence in Science is funded by the
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
We look across educational experiences from elementary school to university to
find examples of students' engagement in science, in particular moments,
lasting for days, or even personal transformations over a semester. Within each
of these, we are studying what contributes to that engagement—how it begins, how
María Blanton and Bárbara M. Brizuela
Through design based classroom teaching experiments, the Early Algebra Project
investigates the ways in which children from Kindergarten through 8th grade
generalize, justify, represent, and reason algebraically. Through our research,
we have shown that introducing algebra as part of the early mathematics
curriculum is highly feasible and we have also clarified how specific
representational tools — tables, graphs, numerical and algebraic notation, and
certain natural language structures — can be employed to help students express
functional relations among numbers and quantities and solve algebra problems.
Institute for Mathematics Education
David W. Carraher and
The Poincaré Institute brings together expertise from mathematics, mathematics
education, and physics to help teachers deepen and broaden their understanding
of middle school mathematics. Rather than re-teach the mathematics that the
teachers already know or offer a set of pre-packaged lessons, the Institute
offers them a broad, unified framework to re-envision the mathematics they
already teach. The mathematical focus of the Institute is algebra and the
mathematics of functions.
||Prison Knowledge Production and Schooling
This set of research projects includes ethnography of
institutions, policies, archives, and epistolary
engagements. The inquiry focuses on the mechanisms of
counter-insurgent state punishment and insurgent knowledge
in schooling and prison, particularly through systemic and
cultural dimensions of race and gender. The interplay of the
state, law, private spheres, and public spheres form the
analytical nexus of these projects.
STEM Literacies in Makerspaces
PI Brian Gravel, in collaboration with Eli Tucker-Raymond at TERC
STEMLiMS is an NSF-funded project project aimed at
understanding how participants in makerspaces engage in STEM
literacy practices as they create and produce physical
products of personal and social value. We are studying how
participants in makerspaces interpret, use, and create
representational texts, and we will use what we learn to
inform the design of makerspaces for learners. Sites for our
Artisan's Asylum, the
South End Tech Center
and Sprout & Co.
as well as the makerspaces at the
Cambridge Friends School
and the Somerville STEAM Academy.