ECR Projects

Explore past and current fundamental STEM education research projects across the three research areas that NSF's EDU Core Research (ECR) program funds, as well as across ECR funding types. Other search filters draw from both NSF's data and the ECR Hub's hand coding of award abstracts.

Ninth-grade biology students create cell models using clay.

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Empowering Children of Migratory/Seasonal Farmworkers with Gamification and Culturally-Responsive Engineering Design Instruction

Effective Years: 2022-2025

The project aims to build the investigator’s capacity to conduct robust fundamental STEM education research by implementing a small-scale research project and a professional development plan. The research investigates how culturally responsive gamified activities impact STEM identity development and promote STEM pathways among students of migratory families. The project extends the efforts of the Migratory Student Summer Academy at Arizona State University that provides summer enrichment activities for this student population. The professional development plan aims to reinforce basic skill sets of qualitative data analysis and equity-centered approaches to qualitative research. The project could provide insight of migratory adolescents’ STEM trajectories and expand knowledge of how gamification elements with culturally responsive centered activities resonate with the targeted community.

The investigator will implement a qualitative study using a critical agency framework to collect and analyze data from pre- and post- surveys, interviews, and tracking via an online platform. Participants will include three cohorts of 10 students. The research questions are (1) How do migratory students describe their home and community bodies of knowledge and their potential ability in STEM? (2) How does participating in the culturally responsive engineering design activity impact migratory students’ academic profiles? (3) How do migratory students describe themselves and their critical STEM agency after participating in the online activity? and (4) How are migratory students engaging with gamification elements and, specifically, the culturally responsive story line? The project could fill a void in the literature about students of migratory farm workers and bridge the equity gap by connecting engineering activities with migratory students’ lived experiences through a culturally responsive approach.

The project is supported by the ECR: Building Capacity in STEM Education Research (BCSER) program. BCSER is designed to build the capacity of investigators to conduct robust fundamental STEM education research that focuses on STEM learning and learning environments, broadening participation in STEM, and STEM workforce development.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.