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CREATE for STEM Receives New Funding from George Lucas Educational Foundation

Image of child on laptop

MSU’s CREATE for STEM Institute has received funding from the George Lucas Educational Foundation to transform in-classroom elementary science materials for virtual learning.

This new grant is an extension of the Multiple Literacies through Project-based Learning research funded in 2015 to create science curricula to engage and increase students’ curiosity about the natural world.

The goal of this grant is to learn more about what promotes student engagement in both hybrid and remote classrooms using project-based learning, an approach in which students explore real-world phenomena and complex problems through collaborations with other students.

“The team at Michigan State University’s CREATE for STEM Institute has made great strides in supporting elementary teachers using the Multiple Literacies through Project Based Learning program,” said Kristin De Vivo, executive director of the George Lucas Educational Foundation. “With school closures last year and a move to distance learning, students face significant challenges in their academic, social and emotional development.

Headshot of Joseph Krajcik, he has white hair and beard, and is wearing glasses.

Joseph Krajcik, Lappan-Phillips Professor of Science Education in the colleges of Natural Science and Education and director of the CREATE for STEM Institute.

“To meet the needs of teachers, students and school communities and to prevent further learning loss, Lucas Educational Research is proud to support the study of adaptations to the grades 3-5 curriculum and professional learning for use in virtual and hybrid contexts,” De Vivo said.

The project is directed by Joseph Krajcik, Lappan-Phillips Professor of Science Education in the colleges of Natural Science and Education and director of the CREATE for STEM Institute; Barbara Schneider, John A. Hannah University Distinguished Professor in the College of Education and the Department of Sociology; and Emily Miller, independent research consultant for CREATE for STEM Institute.

“Teachers mean everything in the classroom, but they need curriculum materials,” said Krajcik. “As various forms of online teaching continue, teachers need good materials that have been adapted for online instruction and stay true to what we know about the teaching and learning of science. Learners still need to experience phenomena, discuss ideas and solutions with each other, and draw models and build products. We’re grateful the George Lucas Educational Foundation has allowed us to expand this important work.”

Zach Richardson via MSU Today

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