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Title II - Part B - Mathematics and Science Partnerships


This program is designed to improve student academic achievement in mathematics and science by funding partnerships through a competitive grant process. The partnerships supported through this program bring together mathematics and science teachers with scientists, mathematicians, and engineers to expand teachers' subject matter knowledge of and research in science and mathematics. The program supports partnerships that provide opportunities for ongoing and advanced professional development for teachers, promote and support the redesign of instruction and curriculum in mathematics and science, and recruit mathematics, engineering, and science majors to teaching. Partnerships supported through this program must engage in activities that are based on scientific research. The Iowa Department of Education cooperates with the Iowa Board of Regents (which has a comparable program funded through Title II, Part A) in conducting the required competitive grant process.

Grant Awards

  • Title: Improving Students’ Critical thinking and Representational Abilities Using an Argument Based Inquiry Approach
    Grantee: University of Iowa
    Contact: Brian Hand or Mark McDermott
    Grant Period: June 1, 2010 – September 30, 2012
    Description: The Proposed three year project to improve student critical thinking and representational abilities as a way to increase science conceptual understanding involves a collaboration between the University of Iowa, Wartburg College, the Waterloo Community School District, and Area Education Agency 267. The project will extend research and professional development activities associated with the Science Writing Heuristic (SWH) approach by combining it with emerging research dealing with Multimodal Representations (MMR). The SWH approach is an argument-based inquiry approach emphasizing links between reading, writing, critical thinking, and science understandings by combining different modes of representation (charts, diagrams, mathematical equations, pictures) with text to effectively communicate understanding of science concepts. The proposed project will explore the integration of these two areas in an attempt to improve student reading, writing, science argumentation, and critical thinking. Forty-five middle and high school science teachers will be provided progressive professional development opportunities over the course of three years to help implement teaching practices based on combining the SWH approach and MMR in their classrooms. Student performance on standardized science tests, critical thinking tests, teacher developed evaluations, and on writing tasks utilized in the classrooms will be analyzed to explore the potential benefit of combining the two significant areas in building understanding of science concepts. Evaluation will focus on highlighting the critical components of professional development that increase teacher implementation of these approaches.
  • Title: Integration of STEM through Problem-Based Learning
    Grantee: Des Moines Public Schools
    Contact: Kimberly ODonnell
    Grant Period: June 1, 2010 – September 30, 2012
    Description:Des Moines Independent Community School District is expanding its long-standing partnerships with the Iowa State University Curriculum and Instruction Department, Science Bound program, and the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Biorrenwable Chemicals located at ISU, Heartland AEA, and the Science Center of Iowa. The professional development program will consist of a ten-day Summer Institute each year serving a cohort of 30 teachers and a second cohort of 25 teachers. All 129 Des Moines middle and high school teachers, along with non-public teachers, will be involved in research-based professional development throughout the year. Major outcomes of the program included increased:
    • STEM content knowledge through collaboration with the ISU faculty and staff
    • Skills in inquiry and problem-based learning
    • Skills in designing authentic assessments
    • Sills in utilizing instructional technology as a tool for learning
    • Implementation of the Iowa Core
    • Student engagement and learning in secondary science classrooms

    In addition to Summer Institutes, professional learning strategies will include monthly Professional Learning Communities, Instructional Rounds, and On-line Collaboration that is consistent with the Iowa Professional Development Model in providing ongoing follow-up, coaching, collegial dialogue, and support. Teachers must apply to become members of the cohorts and participate in a minimum of 110 hours of professional development each year for two years. This investment in professional development will lead to increased student achievement and closing gaps in achievement for low-income and minority students.

  • Title: Making Sense of Mathematics and Teaching
    Grantee: University of Northern Iowa
    Contact: Vicki Oleson
    Grant Period: June 1, 2010 – September 30, 2012
    Description: Making Sense of Mathematics and Teaching (MSMT) is a three-year professional development program designed to deepen elementary teachers’ understanding of mathematics concepts and support implementation of research-based teaching strategies aligned with the Iowa Core (IC) and Every Student Counts (ESC). The program provides leadership training to principals to ensure support of teachers as they change mathematics instruction in their classrooms. The MSMT program targets 40 elementary teachers in 11 southwest Iowa school districts. MSMT is modeled after two successful pilot projects through which two cohorts of 20 elementary teachers received mathematical professional development in Area Education Agencies (AEAs) 8 and 14. In the proposed program, six professional development courses will focus on mathematics content (number, operations, geometry, measurement, data, and algebraic thinking) and instructional strategies aligned with IC and ESC (teaching for understanding, problem-centered instruction, meaningful distributed instruction, multiple representation, and assessment for learning). Participating teachers will receive face-to-face instruction and online sessions designed to support implementation of strategies aligned to the IC and ESC. Classroom visits by AEA consultants will provide individualized support to the teachers as they move through the change process. Partners include University of Northern Iowa faculty from the College of Natural Sciences and the College of Education, AEAs 13 and 14, and participating schools and their teachers. Participating schools include three “high need” districts (Mormon Trails, Central Decatur, and Clarinda), two private schools (Clarinda Lutheran and St. Malachy), and six other districts (Essex, Shenandoah, Red Oak, Clarke, East Union, and Lamoni).
  • Title: River Quest Institutes
    Grantee: Clarke College
    Contact: Andrea Bixler
    Grant Period: June 1, 2010 – September 30, 2012
    Description: The River Quest Institutes project is a partnership among Clarke College, the Dubuque Community Schools (a high need LEA), the Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Keystone AEA and the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. The project goal is to build a network of K-5 teacher who will have an impact on increasing student achievement levels in science. Teachers of these grades have been underserved by MSP programs nationally in previous years. River Quest will improve teacher content knowledge and pedagogy in science, increase student learning, and empower teachers to succeed within the modern classroom. The program will be presented as a 7-day institute in June that focuses on science content and pedagogy related to kits used in the partner districts by K-5 teachers. During July, teacher will work together to develop inquiry-based, interdisciplinary lessons with differentiation appropriate for their own students. Funds will be provided to supplement instruction using science kits and to purchase small technology for active learning. Field work by participants’ students at the River Museum will be paid for by River Quest. Face-to-face and online follow-up sessions in August, January and April will facilitate teacher sharing of lesson plans. Partner teachers will observe one another’s classes to provide feedback on pedagogical practices. Formative and summative assessment will be emphasized. Teachers will develop pre-and post-assessments for their students, which will also be used to evaluate effectiveness of the program, along with ITBS scores and teacher surveys of knowledge and practice.
  • Title: Environmental Activities and Resource for Teacher EnHancement Projecct (EARTH)
    Grantee: Eastern Iowa Community College District
    Contact: Kimberly Gassaway
    Grant Period: June 1, 2010 – September 30, 2012
    Description:Eastern Iowa Community College District/Advanced Technology Environment and Energy Center, the Davenport Community School District, University of Iowa’s Science Education Center, and Mississippi Bend AEA propose a three-year project to address low performance and improve science education of the 4th-7th grade students of Davenport school district through professional development using inquiry-based themes and incorporating differentiated instruction and writing assessment strategies. Outcomes: 1) achieve 10% annual improvement in teacher and students attitudes toward sciences; 2) achieve a 5% increase in the number of students who are proficient in science; 3) achieve a 10% annual improvement in teacher understanding/use of inquiry-based teaching; 4) achieve a 10% annual improvement in teacher understanding/use of differentiated instruction and writing assessment strategies; and 5) integrate environmental concepts into all science courses.

    100 hours of professional development for 56 science teachers grades 4-7 will include:

    • Summer Institute/Curriculum Planning (64hr.) – workshop focusing on inquiry-based teaching, differentiated instruction and writing assessment strategies around environmental themes; curriculum planning to incorporate new science content into classes.
    • Academic Year Support Seminars/Onsite Lesson Implementation Assistance (28 hr.) – held throughout the school year to provide ongoing teacher support and assistance.
    • Student/Teacher Learning Showcase (8hr.) – teachers/students share inquiry-based research findings in a professional conference format.
    • Project Website – support for participating teachers and available to all science teachers to share science inquiry experiences and “best practices.”

    The EARTH model will be disseminated to other Iowa school districts and nationally through conferences, presentations, websites and journal articles.

  • Title: Teaching and Learning Mathematics with Cognitively Guided Instruction
    Grantee: Buena Vista University
    Contact: Suzette Radke
    Grant Period: June 1, 2009 - June 30, 2012
    Description: Buena Vista University, in collaboration with Prairie Lakes AEA 8, will provide professional development so that teachers will be able to implement instruction in developmentally appropriate mathematics while improving their content knowledge and pedagogical skills. There will be a capacity building element to this program as well.
  • Title: Science Pioneers: Science Content Through Inquiry
    Grantee: Central College
    Contact: Kris Killibarda
    Grant Period: June 1, 2009 - June 30, 2012
    Description: The Science Pioneers Program will be centered around a three-phase program (1) summer professional development institutes, (2) a summer science camp, and (3) 2009-2012 workshops on inquiry-based teaching, the learning cycle, using the Iowa Core Curriculum, informal education opportunities and assessment.
  • Title: The Des Moines Partnership for Cognitively Guided Instruction to Improve Teaching and Learning in Elementary Mathematics
    Grantee: Des Moines Independent Community School District
    Contact: Barbara Adams
    Grant Period: June 1, 2008 - June 1, 2011
  • Title: Helping Iowa Teachers Promote Critical Thinking and Inquiry in Science and Literacy in K-8 Classrooms
    Grantee: University of Iowa
    Contact: Brian Hand
    Grant Period: May 15, 2007 - June 30, 2010
    Description: This professional development project for teachers will promote their students' critical thinking and inquiry skills through embedding language practices into K-8 science classrooms. Teachers will implement Science Writing Heuristics in their classrooms. Teachers will participate in long-term professional development designed to improve content knowledge, teaching skills and understanding how to embed language practices as critical components of inquiry. Assessment is included in the proposal.
  • Title: Important Mathematics and Powerful Pedagogy: Deepening Teacher Content Knowledge and Using Lesson Study Approach to Effectively Implement Iowa's High School Mathematics Initiatives
    Grantee: University of Iowa
    Contact: Cos Fi
    Grant Period: May 15, 2007 - June 30, 2010
    Description: Summer content workshops will focus on deepening teacher knowledge of the specific mathematical content recommended in the Mathematics Model Core Curriculum. The project will use a lesson study approach to help teachers gain skill in developing and teaching effective lessons that are built around problem-based instructional tasks. Lessons will be collaboratively planned, taught, debriefed, revised and retaught.
  • Title: Inquiry Geographic Information Systems in Science Training (IGISST)
    Grantee: Grant Wood AEA 10
    Contact: Christopher Soldat
    Grant Period: May 15, 2007 - June 30, 2010
    Description: The project will provide professional development for 50, 7-12 grade teachers, to improve Earth Science teaching incorporating inquiry and problem-based learning and GIS data analysis tools into a learning instructional framework. The teacher development will include: Summer Institutes, curriculum planning, academic year seminars, on-site lesson implementation assistance, student learning showcases, and a collaborative mentor network.
  • Title: Science Professional Development Program: A Collaborative Approach
    Grantee: Drake University
    Contact: Jack Gerlovich
    Grant Period: May 1, 2006 - June 30, 2009
    Description: Following the Iowa Professional Development model, K-8 teachers will be active participants in scientific inquiry lessons and will receive extensive training on how to recognize, develop, and effectively implement rigorous inquiry-based lessons. The K-8 teachers will implement lessons during a summer camp for elementary students. Teachers will receive continued support as they implement scientific inquiry as an instructional strategy during the regular school year.
  • Title: Science and Mathematics Avenues to Renewed Teachers and Students (SMARTS)
    Grantee: University of Iowa
    Contact: John Dunkhase
    Grant Period: May 23, 2005 - May 23, 2008
    Description: The goal of this project is to increase the achievement in science and mathematics of K-6 students and reduce the math and science achievement gap of student subgroups through a professional development program consisting of intensive summer institutes, academic year lesson-study groups and seminars, and onsite implementation assistance. Research lessons in math and science will illustrate inquiry-based instruction and contribute to district systemic change.
  • Title: Physics Resources and Instruction for Secondary Science Teachers (PRISST)
    Grantee: University of Northern Iowa
    Contact: Lawrence Escalada
    Grant Period: May 1, 2006 - May 1, 2008
    Description: PRISST addresses the existing shortage of qualified Iowa high school physics teachers. This initiative will provide instruction in both physics content and pedagogy with the focus on interactive engagement methods. On-going outreach and professional opportunities to be part of a K-16 physics education community network with colleagues, university physics faculty, and master high school physics teachers, will be provided. The PRISST program will include two summer sessions of four weeks each.
  • Title: Science Writing Heuristic
    Grantee: Iowa State University, Department of Education
    Contact: Brian Hand
    Grant Period: May 21, 2004 - July 6 2007
    Description: This partnership project seeks to improve student performance in both science and language arts by replicating authentic science activities and scaffolding students’ critical thinking and problem solving strategies. Elementary teachers will be involved in a summer workshop, implementation cycle and analysis cycle, for each of three years. The summer workshop will involve science content update, critical reading and science inquiry teaching strategies. Students will be asked to write statements about their research questions, followed by the process of making claims and framing evidence from their investigations.


Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on April 19, 2014 at 1:58pm.