Text-only version of this website Skip to content

Research

With funding support from the National Science Foundation, U-FUTuRES is devoted to transforming middle school science teachers’ practices in partnering school districts through (1) collaborative implementation of a coherent, learning-goals-driven, project-based, standards-aligned, inquiry-driven science curriculum, with (2) ongoing support by a highly-trained Science Teacher Leader, who will (3) lead a district middle school science teacher professional learning community devoted to the continuous study of science teaching practices and student learning. The Investigating and Questioning our World through Science and Technology (IQWST) curriculum is specifically designed to actively engage students with scientific phenomena and scientific practices as they collect data and make evidence-based arguments. Each year students engage in four units of study (physics, chemistry, biology, earth systems) organized around driving questions designed to support learning coherence as students spend extended time with the essential “big ideas” of science. IQWST was developed through 10 years of support from the National Science Foundation to develop the next generation of science materials. The IQWST curriculum includes specific features to support teacher learning and implementation including suggested teaching strategies and alternatives, essential science content, and specific strategies to identify and address students’ alternative conceptions. Evaluations of student learning with the IQWST curriculum substantiate the effectiveness of narrowing the scope of science standards and extending learning over time and across grade levels.

Partnering school districts are invited to identify eligible candidates from their district to apply for the U-FUTuRES Science Teacher Leadership Institute.  Project funding will support one participant for every 10 middle school science teachers per district.

STLI applications must include information regarding previous science training, teaching experiences, and teacher leadership/teacher trainer experiences. In addition, STLI applicants are required to submit a short essay explaining his/her interest in participating in the institute, professional aspirations, and commitment to serving as a teacher leader in their district. All applicants will be interviewed by the U-FUTuRES Leadership Team and faculty from the College of Education.

It is the intent of the U-FUTuRES partnership to give preference to a diverse group of middle school science teachers in the partnering districts, with 4-10 years of teaching experience, who are prepared to commit five years of service in their districts to lead transformations in middle school science. A GRE review workshop will be offered for interested and eligible candidates seeking support for their application to the UF graduate program.