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National Science Foundation: STEM + Computing Partnerships

Deadline: March 29, 2017

The STEM+Computing (STEM+C) Partnerships program seeks to address the urgent need to prepare students from the early grades through high school in the essential skills, competencies, and dispositions needed to succeed in a computationally-dependent world. Thus, STEM+C advances the integration of computational thinking and computing activities in early childhood education through high school (pre-K-12) to provide a strong and developmental foundation in computing and computational thinking through the integration of computing in STEM teaching and learning, and/or the applied integration of STEM content in pre-K-12 computer science education.

To prepare students from early childhood through high school, proposed research and development efforts should address interdisciplinary integration of computing and computational thinking in one or more of the STEM disciplines, with a focus on student learning pre-K-12, and/or professional development of inservice pre-K-12 teachers, and/or pre-service pre-K-12 teacher education, including preparation of teachers to integrate science, mathematics, and engineering in the applied teaching and learning of computer science in pre-K-12 education.

Applied research and development efforts may include, but are not limited to: studies of pedagogy that integrate computational thinking in one or more STEM content areas within grade bands (from pre-school to high school); research on, and development of new pedagogical environments that can better support interdisciplinary integration of computing in STEM learning; development of new technological tools that can more innovatively integrate computing into one or more other STEM disciplines or integrate STEM content into the teaching and learning of computing, and specifically, the use of technologies that go beyond the mere use of computers to teach students about computing concepts by encouraging the integration of computing and computational concepts in disciplinary-specific ways; modification or development of an entirely new curriculum and/or course materials; improvements in teaching and learning that incorporate learning that can transition between school and informal settings; and innovative pre-service teacher education programs and inservice teacher professional development to prepare teachers to integrate computational thinking or computing in their STEM teaching; modification of instructional strategies; and modifications of programs or any curricular activities in or out of school that are synergistic to school-based content acquisition.

There are three categories for funding:

  1. Exploratory Integration supports creative, highly innovative work, such as development of prototypes; pilot testing of new tools and models; conducting innovative research on teaching and learning; designing and studying new pedagogical environments; identifying, adapting, or designing instruments to measure learning processes; modifying instructional practice; or conducting research to provide proof-of-concept and preliminary evidence.
  2. Design and Development supports proposals that build on prior evidence demonstrating promise for impact on student or teacher learning in classrooms, schools, out-of-school environments, or other learning settings. Investigators may propose interventions for design, research, implementation, and testing that, based upon prior evidence, can potentially advance and innovate new learning, teaching, and pedagogical environments suitable for advancing integration of computing in one or more STEM disciplines.
  3. Field Building Conferences and Workshops: This program encourages proposals that have potential to expand the field of STEM + computing and evidence leading to effective, interdisciplinary integration of computing within other STEM disciplines. Budgets for conferences and workshops are expected to be consistent with the duration of the event and the number of participants.

Amount: $49,895,000 for approximately 25-35 awards. Maximum amounts per category as follows:

  • Exploratory Integration: (up to $1,250,000); maximum duration three years
  • Design and Development: (up to $2,500,000); maximum duration three years
  • Field-Building Conferences and Workshops: (up to $250,000); maximum duration two years

Eligibility: Universities and two- and four-year colleges (including community colleges); non-profit, non-academic organizations that are directly associated with research activities; U.S. commercial organizations, especially small businesses with strong capabilities in scientific or engineering research or education; State educational offices or organizations and local school districts; and certain unaffiliated individuals such as scientists, engineers, and educators.

Link: https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf17535

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