Inquiry and Engagement to Invigorate and Optimize Learning for Everyone
This project is improving student performance in science through adoption of a "citizen science" model supported by teacher professional development, which also cultivates "action research" skills. The lead partner is Bowling Green State University with additional core partners being the Perkins Local Schools and the Sandusky City Schools. Supporting partners are Bowling Green State University, Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District, Lourdes University, Metroparks of the Toledo Area, The Ohio State University: Stone Laboratory, The University of Toledo, and Toledo Zoo.
Key innovations are:
- students and teachers in grades 3 through 8 participate in science research projects led by professional scientists in association with a variety of community and higher education partners;
- teachers learn how to lead students in science research by participating in a rigorous 3-year program of professional development as members of Professional Learning Communities;
- teachers and students learn to lead through publication of their findings to their peers, to their local communities, and to the professional science community; and
- teachers adopt efficient strategies for differentiating instruction to maximize learning for all students.
The primary research questions focus on how student engagement and motivation relate to achievement of rigorous learning outcomes and to what degree classroom participation in citizen science research improves motivation, engagement, and achievement. The instructional innovations directly impact learning for more than 6,000 students in grades 3 through 8.
The findings of iEvolve with STEM are being broadly disseminated as Bowling Green State University is the administrative home for the Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence (NWO), a coalition of five institutions of higher education, a large number of school districts, and a variety of non-profit organizations and businesses devoted to or involved in STEM in diverse ways. The project vision is part of a larger, more comprehensive vision for the entire 29 county region of northwest Ohio.