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National Science Foundation: STEM + Computing Partnerships (STEM+C)

Deadline: March 8, 2016

The STEM+C Partnerships program seeks to significantly enhance the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), and computing by K-12 students and teachers, through research on, and development of, courses, curriculum, course materials, pedagogies, instructional strategies, or models that innovatively integrate computing into one or more STEM disciplines, or integrate STEM content into the teaching and learning of computing. In addition, STEM+C seeks to build capacity in K-12 computing education with foundational research and focused teacher preparation. Projects in the STEM+C Partnerships program should build on research in STEM education and prior research and development efforts that provide theoretical and empirical justification for proposed projects. Pre-service and in-service teachers who participate in STEM+C projects are expected to enhance their understanding and teaching of STEM and computing content, practices, and skills.

STEM+C invites creative and innovative proposals that address emerging challenges in the learning and teaching of STEM and computing. The program offers proposers two tracks: (1) Integration of Computing in STEM Education and (2) Computing Education Knowledge and Capacity Building.

Track 1 Project Types:

  1. Exploratory Integration (EI): Exploratory proposals might: address the development of prototypes; conduct pilot testing; study areas of practice; or conduct research to provide proof-of-concept and preliminary evidence. It is expected that some of the funded projects in this category will serve as prototypes or pilots for ideas that may be expanded in future proposals to the STEM+C Partnerships program.
  2. Design and Development (DD): Design and development proposals should build on evidence from education research and prior practice. Proposals may build upon prior work demonstrating promise in classrooms, schools, or other learning settings, or propose entirely new innovative interventions for design and testing. Projects are expected to result in a completed product ready for further research or implementation by the field.
  3. Field-Building Conferences and Workshops (CW): The program will support a small number of conferences, workshops, and special projects that lead to a better understanding of issues around the integration of STEM and computing.

Track 2 Project Types:

  1. Research on Education and Broadening Participation Projects (EBP): These projects focus on foundational research on the teaching and learning of computing. Specifically, this track aims to build an evidence base on how diverse K-12 student populations are engaged and retained, how they learn fundamental computational concepts, and how they develop the computational competencies needed to pursue degree programs in computing-related and computationally intensive fields of study. The research results could be relevant to teacher preparation or student learning in K-12 computer science courses, or infused across the K-12 STEM curricula, in formal or informal settings.
  2. CS 10K: Projects from this track will develop the knowledge and evidence-based foundation needed to prepare teachers for the CS 10K Project, which aims to have rigorous, academic computing courses taught in 10,000 high schools by 10,000 well-prepared teachers. CS 10K proposals will focus on high school computer science teachers, providing pre-service and in-service teachers with courses, professional development opportunities, and long-term, ongoing support. Proposals must focus on efforts that enable teachers to successfully offer either or both of two new courses: Exploring Computer Science (ECS) or the new Advanced Placement (AP) CS Principles; see ExploringCS.org and CSPrinciples.org.

Amount: Varies by track:

  • Track 1: Up to $2,500,000 for Design and Development awards, $1,250,000 for Exploratory Integration awards, and $250,000 for Field-Building Conferences and Workshops
  • Track 2: Up to $600,000 for Research on Education and Broadening Participation awards and up to $1,000,000 for CS 10K award

Eligibility: Charter schools that are Local Education Agencies (LEAs), charter schools that are nonprofits, Charter Management Organizations (CMOs), Independent school districts, institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations, State Educational Agencies (SEAs), teachers/staff/school leaders.

Link: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15537/nsf15537.pdf

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