CEAC helps produce videos for NSF STEM For All showcase

CEAC has helped produced two short videos of our recent and current National Science Foundation (NSF) supported research.

Check out and vote for our videos!

EAGER: MAKER: Researching a School District’s Integration of the Maker Movement into its Middle and High School

EAGER: MAKER: Researching a School District’s Integration of the Maker Movement into its Middle and High SchoolThe beginning of the 21st century saw the rise of Maker Spaces or informal community workshops where people of all ages engage in a variety of creative design and fabrication activities with materials and equipment that would otherwise be out of reach for the average person. Given its power to engage learners, grades K‐12 educators and school leaders are considering how the Maker Movement might be integrated into formal school settings. This research project uses case study methodology to articulate how the Elizabeth Forward School District (EFSD) integrates the Maker movement into its secondary schools. Since 2013, EFSD has used a variety of Making tools and approaches to promote a project‐based curriculum that integrates art, technology education, and computer science at the middle and high school levels. Using mixed methods, Year 1 of the project articulates and tracks EFSD’s internal efforts and processes, and collaborations with various external partners. Year 2 of the project focuses more specifically on teacher and student outcomes, exploring how introducing Maker activities into formal STEM education impacts instruction, engagement, learning, and community involvement. Intellectually, the project is important because it examines the intersection of formal and informal learning environments, offering insight into whether and how the essence of Making is modified by its inclusion into formal settings. Practically, the research will offer other school districts a timely example of the rewards and challenges involved in Maker integration.


Peg + Cat: Early Learning of Math Through Media (ELM2)
ELM2 encompasses production of Peg + Cat, an animated math-based PBS television series for preschoolers and complementary games and apps, piloting of professional development (PD) with 80+ Head Start teachers and administrators, development and distribution of family engagement resources, and research to advance the field’s understanding of how best to support early math learning.

Focused on developmentally appropriate math content, the PD helps educators incorporate math into children’s everyday routines and build families’ confidence and interest in math. It uses Peg + Cat media to deepen teachers’ knowledge of math content and pedagogy, help families become more comfortable and interested in math, and bridge children’s engagement with math everywhere.

To understand the PD’s impact on teachers, families, and children, content assessments, interviews, PD observations, and classroom observations were conducted. Findings indicate that educators who participated in the PD:

  • Experienced significant increases in their confidence in teaching math.
  • Experienced significant gains in their preparedness to teach number concepts.
  • Engaged their students in counting, adding, subtracting, and patterning during large group circle.
  • Learned to facilitate math thinking during transitions and other daily routines.
  • Learned to ask higher-level questions and meta-cognitive questions, such as “Why do you think that?” as compared to simple yes/no questions. 

ELM2 parents reported that:

  • Their children tried more often to figure out problems independently.
  • They gained awareness of the importance of exposing their children to math at home.
  • They participated more in activities that involve math at Head Start.
  • They talked to their children about math more.


Check out the other videos too!

2017 STEM for ALL Video Showcase