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

Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) REU

The Rochester Institute of Technology(RIT) Science and Mathematics Educational Research Collaborative, an interdisciplinary Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) group, will host a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program this year.  Ten accepted students will be involved in mentored-research projects that focus on the theme of Models and Representations in STEM Education and will contribute to publishable research in DBER. 

Accepted students will participate in a unique “Spring Ahead” research session during the spring semester to meet and work virtually, using video conferencing and online journal club discussions, with project mentors to outline summer projects.  During the 9 week on-site experience at the RIT campus REU students will be involved in cohort-wide research methods workshops, smaller research group meetings, individual mentoring, Professional Development workshops and cohort-building events.  REU students will earn a $5,000 stipend ($500 of which will be earned during the spring session) and will be housed, at no expense to the student, in RIT’s state-of-the-art housing complex, Global Village.

To learn more, please explore below!

What is DBER?
Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) is a scholarly field that combines disciplinary expertise in a STEM field (physics, chemistry, biology, etc.) with research methods from cognitive science, psychology and the learning sciences.   Researchers in this field are interested in studying and transforming STEM Education through basic and applied research. Our DBER REU program will allow STEM students to apply their growing disciplinary knowledge to investigate important problems in education research.
 
What is the research focus of the REU program?
REU participants will have the opportunity to engage in novel research projects in an important and exciting field:  model-based reasoning in STEM Education.  Models (computer simulations, physical hand-held models, mathematical models, cognitive models) are simplified versions of real-world systems that allow scientists to ask new questions, test new hypotheses and communicate explanations to a broad audience.  Modeling is an important practice of science as models bridge ideas and observations of real phenomena.   Major STEM education reform initiatives in K-12 and higher education support opportunities for students to engage in the practice of modeling throughout the STEM curriculum.  These reform initiatives must also be supported by a research base that includes well-defined goals, assessment tools, an understanding of common student difficulties, and effective curricular approaches
 
Will I have a project mentor?
Yes!  During the program students will engage in rigorous education research projects with the support and collaboration of research mentors.  Through a variety of activities we will build and support students’ research, communication and professional skills to help prepare them for DBER Ph.D. programs and careers.  We will introduce our potential future educators to teaching, learning, and assessment of the core scientific practice of modeling.  Students in this program will disseminate their findings at conferences and through scholarly publications. 

Learn more about mentored research projects by clicking the tabs at upper right.