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Discovery Research K-12  (DR-K12)



Fundamentals of Research in STEM EducationWorkshop

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the QEM Network conducted a two-day professional development workshop on the Fundamentals of Research in STEM Education. The workshop took place on Friday and Saturday, October 26-27, 2007, at the Embassy Suites Hotel New Orleans Convention Center in New Orleans, LA.

The workshop was designed to help address concerns/realities about the small number of faculty at minority-serving institutions who are involved in/prepared to lead STEM-related education research projects at their institutions. The workshop was offered to help ensure that participants have a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of educational research so they are better prepared to submit competitive proposals to the Foundation’s DR-K12 Program

The workshop’s agenda included both plenary sessions and small group sessions. Plenary session topics included:

    - Background on Research in STEM Education
    - Research Design
    - Methods of Educational Research
    - Data Collection and Analysis
    - Research at the K-12 Level
    - Implementation, Research, and Evaluation 
    - The Socio-cultural Context of Research in STEM Education
    - Research in Undergraduate STEM Education        
    - Staying Current in the Field    
    - Dissemination of Research Findings
    - Potential Funding Sources

Click AGENDA (.pdf) to view agenda details.
View Final Agenda, with presentations, here (.htm)


The Discovery Research K-12 Program (DR-K12) merges three former NSF K-12 education programs -- Teacher Professional Continuum (TPC),  Instructional Materials Development (IMD), and Centers for Learning and Teaching (CLT).

Discovery Research K-12 funds research, development, and evaluation activities through knowledge generation and application to improve K-12 learning and teaching. DR-K12 brings together STEM education faculty, mathematicians and scientists, cognitive scientists, teachers and administrators, and STEM education graduate students to conduct the research, develop resources and tools and build the nation’s capacity to develop and test innovative solutions to improve K-12 teaching and learning. The program addresses this mission by funding exploratory studies and/or full-scale projects in three major areas: 

  • Applied Research (component A) that supports three categories of projects:  (1) Evaluative Studies of NSF-Funded Resources and Tools;  (2)  Studies of Student Learning Progressions;  and (3) Studies of Teachers and Teaching.
  • Development of Resources and Tools (component B) that supports two categories of projects: 
    (1) Assessment of Students’ and Teachers’ Learning  and (2) Instruction of K-12 Students and Teachers.
  • Capacity Building (component C) that supports two categories of projects:  (1) STEM Systems Research  and (2) STEM Education Research Scholars.

In addition, conferences related to the mission of the program are supported in all three of the above areas.
View the Program Solicitation (NSF 08-502):

The most recent QEM DR-K12 Technical Assistance activity was a Proposal Follow-up Workshop held in Washington, DC on  January 19-20, 2007.    See Agenda

QEM Fundamentals of Research in STEM Education Workshop
New Orleans, LA •  October 26-27, 2007


 View the DRK-12 Program Solicitation (NSF 08-502)(Proposal deadline: January 28, 2008)