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NSF awards $1.2M to Promoting 21st Century Science research

OISE professor Jim Slotta is co-investigator on grant

By Janice Spencer

September 30, 2010

Associate Professor Jim Slotta, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, is a co-investigator on a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to fund the research proposal titled, “Promoting 21st Century Science: Technology-Enhances Learning Across Formal and Informal Environments”. Working with lead investigator Tim Zimmerman, assistant professor of science education at Rutgers University, the research project will investigate the relationship between students’ informal technology skills, their success in an inquiry ocean science curriculum designed to target those skills, and their understanding of the new characteristics of 21st century science. They argue that the characteristic practices of 21st century science should inform the way students learn about science in school which will better prepare students for careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics)-related disciplines and help level the playing field with regard to the acquisition of vital 21st century knowledge and technology skills.

The results of this research will help to understand how to develop interactive, media-enriched, collaborative, and data driven science curriculum. Building on both investigators’ expertise in curriculum and assessment, they propose to assemble a design team that will develop a unique project for middle school earth science that leverages digital literacy skills, mobile and classroom technology, and formal-informal learning environments.

Jim has been subcontracted to receive $400K to conduct his research group at OISE. Jim is the Canada Research Chair in Education and Technology and principal investigator of the original NSF-funded center titled “Technology-Enhanced Learning in Science” (TELS). His research employs technology-enhanced learning environments to investigate cognitive models of learning and instruction.