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Campus-wide STEM Education Research 

Connecting RIT STEM education research, classroom practice and community

The Center for Advancing STEM Teaching, Learning & Evaluation (CASTLE) is a network of faculty, projects and programs engaged in scholarship surrounding STEM education. Led by Director Scott Franklin, it is comprised of STEM faculty, research associates, instructional service professionals, and communication experts. Together they form a network of skilled individuals committed to the Center’s mission of advancing STEM teaching, learning and evaluation. Members work together on research and programs engaged in scholarship of pedagogy, facilitating dialog, encouraging collaborative opportunities in evidence-based practices, conducting discipline-based education research and establishing methods of assessment and evaluation.

CASTLE arose from the realization that existing collaborations would be enhanced by a formal structure that emphasized opportunities for synergies. The center's mission is to improve STEM education and outreach initiatives at RIT and foster collaboration between STEM educators and education researchers.

CASTLE is fostering interdisciplinary collaboration through the Interdisciplinary STEM Ed Research Forum (ISERF), STEM education research groups across campus that meet several times a year to share ideas and further common research goals. Read More

Our Key Focus Areas

Discipline-based Education Research (DBER)
The Science & Math Education Research Collaborative (SMERC) conducts rigorous discipline-based education research on issues involving postsecondary student learning, and members have a track record of peer-reviewed publications and external funding.

Scholarship of Pedagogy
CASTLE supports faculty efforts on pedagogical (didactic) scholarship, evaluation and assessment, and fostering innovation in the classroom.Educational Transformation
The Center promotes and fosters innovative curricula for national dissemination. The College hosts several model curricula, including: LivePhoto, interactive video vignettes, and Explorations in Physics. The Center will aggressively seek external funding for these projects.

K-20 Teacher Recruitment, Preparation and Professional Development
CASTLE takes an active role in preparing the next generation of STEM teachers through undergraduate and graduate student education. Activities include the RIT Learning Assistant program to recruit and prepare future secondary school teachers.

Education and Careers of Groups Historically Excluded from the STEM Disciplines
This includes collaborations with Women in Science (WISe), a CASTLE-affiliated program that seeks to engage women in the sciences and mathematics by offering information, equity and collaboration opportunities. The Center helps coordinate WISe activities, and supports efforts to secure external funding through foundations and local and national industries.


To improve science and math education and outreach initiatives at RIT and foster collaboration between science and math educators and education researchers.


  • Foster and grow a community engaged in rigorous, discipline-based STEM education research, providing infrastructure and opportunities for interdisciplinary communication and collaboration.
  • Support scholarship of pedagogy and teaching & learning, including transformational STEM educational practices.
  • Broaden participation in STEM through outreach, research and programmatic innovations.

Statement of Solidarity with the Black Community

(This statement was informed by, and derives language from, this statement by the USC Race and Equity Center and the USC Pullias Center for Higher Education.)

CASTLE as a research center is committed to addressing issues of equity in higher education, and we express our solidarity with and support for all that deplore the anti-Blackness and systemic racism that led to the slayings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Nina Pop, Tony McDade, and so many others. We stand against police violence and brutality and with the movements that call attention to these horrors: Black Lives Matter and Say Her Name to name two. These killings and similar oppressions are the continued manifestations of our history of slavery and racial injustice.

CASTLE recognizes the harm caused by remaining silent. Our Center and its members recommit to disrupting anti-Blackness and systemic racism at RIT, advocating for social justice and racial equity, and supporting those under attack. The resources listed below describe a variety of specific activities individuals can take, and we encourage everyone to read, share and discuss these with friends, family and co-workers as we work to make RIT a community that welcomes and protects all of its members. 

Scott Franklin
Director, CASTLE Center for Advancing STEM Teaching, Learning & Evaluation

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