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Center for Advancing STEM Teaching, Learning and Evaluation (CASTLE)

Campus-wide STEM Education Research Scholarship
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, 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

Scholarship of Pedagogy
CASTLE supports faculty efforts on pedagogical (didactic) scholarship, evaluation and assessment, and fostering innovation in the classroom.

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.

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.


  • Nurture a community of faculty, administrators, and staff interested in science and math education and pedagogy.  CASTLE facilitates dialog about evidence-based practices, discipline-based education research, and methods of assessment and evaluation.
  • Establish a robust and sustainable infrastructure that transforms science educational practices, supports discipline-based education research, and promotes K-20 teacher and faculty recruitment, preparation, professional development, and outreach.
  • Foster innovations in education by integrating an interdisciplinary community of scholars; promoting, sustaining, and evaluating reform efforts; advocating for diversity and access; and influencing policy, fundraising, and public outreach.