NC State College of Education Awarded $4.3M in Research Funding April-June, 2020

New wolf statue on central campus.

Faculty and researchers at the NC State College of Education, including the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, were awarded $4,371,540 to support 16 projects from April 1 to June 30, 2020.

Supporting Reading Comprehension for English Learners Through Inquiry-Based, Language Focused Instruction

This four-year, $1.4 million project, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, aims to develop a new, small-group intervention for English learners in grades 3 through 5 who have reading comprehension difficulties. The intervention will use the Building Knowledge and Language through Inquiry Framework to help readers strengthen language and literacy skills while building knowledge about interesting topics in disciplines like science and social studies. Dennis Davis, Ph.D., associate professor of literacy education, is the project’s principal investigator and Jackie Relyea, Ph.D., assistant professor of literacy education, is the co-principal investigator.

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Developing STEM Identity in Rural Audiences through Community-Based Engineering Design

This four-year, $889,883 project, funded by the National Science Foundation, aims to address the lack of access to high quality K-12 STEM education in rural areas by creating community-based engineering design experiences for underrepresented and underserved middle school students. The project is designed to improve students’ congestive and noncognitive outcomes and lead to increased participation in STEM fields. Tameshia Ballard Baldwin, Ph.D., a teaching assistant professor with the NC State College of Engineering and affiliate faculty member in the College of Education’s Department of STEM Education within the program area of Technology, Engineering, and Design Education, is the project’s principal investigator. Braska Williams, director of the North Carolina Mathematics and Science Education Network Pre-College Program (MSEN) at the Friday Institute, is senior personnel.

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School Connectivity Initiative

This three-year, $850,500 project funded by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, will enable the Friday Institute to create and manage tools to inform and automate School Connectivity Initiative (SCI) program functions and assist SCI in the development of K-12 cyber security related services, among other things. Ray Zeisz, director of the Technology Infrastructure Lab at the Friday Institute, is the project’s principal investigator.


Developing and Testing Innovations (DIT): Narrative Modeling with StoryQ: Integrating Mathematics, Language Arts, and Computing to Create Pathways to Artificial Intelligence Careers

This three-year project, funded by $310,581 from the National Science Foundation, will use existing data science and text mining technologies to develop the StoryQ narrative modeling platform for use in K-12 schools. The project team will develop a high school curriculum that will target underrepresented students in STEM and allow them to design, build, test and iteratively improve machine learning models of narratives sourced from the students’ own writings. Shiyan Jiang, Ph.D., assistant professor of learning design and technology, is the project’s co-principal investigator.

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Broadband Data Collection and Analysis 

This $290,000 grant from the North Carolina Department of Information Technology will allow the Friday Institute to assist BIO in developing a speed test application that can be integrated with a statewide survey to determine internet access and capacity, audit and verify service to locations funded by the GREAT Grant and identify eligible funding areas. Ray Zeisz, director of the Technology Infrastructure Lab at the Friday Institute, is the project’s principal investigator.


NC Digital Learning Initiative

This $246,390 project, funded by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, aims to provide support for districts and educators in North Carolina during the transition to remote learning through the creation and implementation of guidelines for remote instruction, professional learning opportunities and model lessons. Shaun Kellogg, Ph.D., a research scholar at the Friday Institute, is the project’s principal investigator and Nancy Mangum, associate director of digital learning programs at the Friday Institute, is the co-principal investigator.


Building a Next Generation Diagnostic Assessment and Reporting System within a Learning Trajectory-Based Mathematics Learning Map for Grades 6-8

Building on an ongoing NSF-funded project, this $180,687 grant will allow partner schools in New York and North Carolina to implement a learning trajectory map and use diagnostic assessments in the course of regular instruction with the goal of learning to revise and strengthen the diagnostic assessments, model student progress using learning trajectories, and implement instructional strategies within competency-based strategies. Jere Confrey, Ph.D., Joseph D. Moore Distinguished Professor of Mathematics Education, is the project’s principal investigator.


Code.org Virtual Professional Learning Program

This $84,900 project, funded by Code.org, will enable the Friday Institute to design and develop a virtual professional learning program for teachers in response to the growing need for online professional learning that stemmed from the coronavirus pandemic. Dave Frye, senior director for computer science initiatives the Friday Institute, is the project’s principal investigator.


Belonging-Centered Instruction: An Approach to Establishing Inclusive Mathematics Classrooms

Through this one-year, $31,533 project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a diverse team will analyze videos depicting teachers’ instructional practices with the hopes of identifying examples of inclusive practices and creating a compilation of practical strategies for belonging-centered instruction to be employed in mathematics classrooms. DeLeon Gray, Ph.D., associate professor of educational psychology and university faculty scholar, is the project’s co-principal investigator.

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Updating the North Carolina STEM Education Strategic Plan

This project, funded by $25,000 from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, will enable the Friday Institute to work with the SMT Center to create a guiding document for organizations, institutions and individuals working to advance high quality K-12 STEM education in North Carolina. Shaun Kellogg, Ph.D., a research scholar at the Friday Institute, is the project’s principal investigator and Melinda Faber, a research associate at the Friday Institute, is the project’s co-principal investigator.


Be the Dataset: Enhancing Undergraduate Learning About Biomechanics and Data Science Through Augmented Reality and Self-Motion Data

This $23,299 project, funded by the National Science Foundation, will build upon contextual learning theories to establish a novel and mobile device-based learning platform to support and reinforce knowledge acquisition in biomechanics and data science. Shiyan Jiang, Ph.D., assistant professor of learning design and technology, is a co-principal investigator on the project.


Technology-Rich Units for Future Secondary Teachers: Forging Mathematical Connections Through the Geometry of Functions

This $14,827 grant, funded by the National Science Foundation, will extend the reach of the geometry activities developed through the “Forging Connections” project in response to the rapid shift to online teaching at universities across the United States during the coronavirus pandemic. Karen Hollebrands, Ph.D., interim associate dean for research and innovation, is the project’s principal investigator.


Fostering Deeper Learning Pilot

Through this $10,000 project, funded by the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, a series of online modules and supplementary resources aimed at developing pre-service teacher capacity to effectively foster deeper learning will be designed as part of the national “Preparing the New Teacher Workforce to Foster Deeper Learning” project. Sarah Cannon, Ph.D., lecturer and edTPA coordinator, is the project’s principal investigator. Erin Horne, Ph.D., assistant dean for assessment and professional education, is the co-principal investigator.


Transitions in a Crisis: Moving Postsecondary CTE Online During Coronavirus

This $10,000 project, funded by the ECMC Foundation, supports the hiring of human resources to provide support to community college partners as they transition postsecondary CTE courses online as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The project helps small and rural community colleges through coaching, the development of instructional models to teach online and the creation of resources to be shared among schools. Associate Professor James Bartlett, Ph.D., is the project’s principal investigator and Teaching Assistant Professor Michelle Bartlett, Ph.D., is the co-principal investigator.


Writing with Adolescent Girls at CORRAL Riding Academy to Support Transformational Change

This $5,000 grant from the Engagement Scholarship Consortium aims to enhance the partnership between the Literacy and Community Initiative (LCI) and CORRAL Riding Academy to sustain LCI’s research efforts that inform the ways in which youth learn literacy, promote the voices of adolescent girls and inform the community about the needs of adolescent girls in high-risk situations. Crystal Chen Lee, Ed.D., assistant professor of English Language Arts education, is the project’s principal investigator.

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