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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance
  • Sue Allen
  • (207) 200-6111
  • Perrin Chick
Award Date:07/23/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 2,999,511
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 1,720,297
  • FY 2021=$1,720,297
Start Date:09/01/2021
End Date:08/31/2025
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.076
Primary Program Source:040106 NSF Education & Human Resource
Award Title or Description:Broad Implementation: Expanding a Successful Model of Fully Virtual Professional Learning for Afterschool Educators
Federal Award ID Number:2115229
DUNS ID:028489578
Program Officer:
  • Jolene Jesse
  • (703) 292-7303

Awardee Location

Street:219 Capitol Street, Suite 3
Awardee Cong. District:01

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance
Street:219 Capitol Street, Suite 3
Cong. District:01

Abstract at Time of Award

This project will scale up fully virtual or face-to-face STEM professional development to afterschool educators in both urban and rural settings. Given that many afterschool educators have little or no background in STEM education, there is demand for professional development that is effective, inexpensive, and accessible. This project will build national capacity in STEM education by developing the STEM skills of over 1,500 educators across multiple states and will ultimately impact over 31,000 under-represented youth in these areas. The project will also deliver robust materials through a free open-source mechanism, for use by educators anywhere and anytime. The project will broaden participation in STEM by engaging community educators in the rural parts of the nation, a critically under-represented group in STEM. It will also reach educators from low-income urban communities across three states and seven cities, targeted through strategic networks and partnerships, including organizations such as the YMCA, 4-H, and the National Afterschool Association. This collaborative project is scaling the ACRES model (Afterschool Coaching for Reflective Educators in STEM). The model humanizes the virtual experience, making it social and engaging, and allows educators to learn, share, and practice essential STEM facilitation skills with a focus on making STEM relevant and introducing STEM careers to youth. In addition to enhancing the professional STEM skills of rural and urban educators, the project will create a national cohort of coaches with deep expertise in (i) converting in-person activities for youth into a highly engaging, choice-rich online format, (ii) engaging isolated informal educators in supportive professional learning communities, and (iii) coaching foundational research-based STEM facilitation skills that ensure these activities are pedagogically sound. A key part of this broad implementation project involves studying how to integrate an effective professional development program into afterschool organizations, including the ways afterschool programs adapt the materials to be culturally responsive to their local communities. The researchers will also study factors contributing to the longer-term sustainability of the program. The research will use surveys, interviews, direct observations, and case studies of participants to provide the field with valuable insights into scaling a program in the afterschool world. This project is funded by the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program, which seeks to advance new approaches to, and evidence-based understanding of, the design and development of STEM learning in informal environments. This includes providing multiple pathways for extending access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences, advancing innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments, and developing understandings of deeper learning by participants. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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