RiSE Center COLLOQUIUM, Feb. 20 at 3:00 pm

Maine Center for Research in STEM Education


Monday, February 20, 2012
3:00-4:00 pm
Arthur St. John Hill Auditorium, 165 Barrows Hall


The Data Literacy Project: Investigating (and improving) how students’ apply data skills in science investigations

Bill Zoellick, The SERC Institute; Molly Schauffler, The RiSE Center and UMaine Climate Change Institute; Sarah Nelson, Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Environmental and Watershed Research; Medea Steinman, SERC Institute
When students collect data as part of an investigation or activity in science class, how do they use the data they collect?  To what extent do they integrate their math skills to make scientific meaning of their inquiry?  The Data Literacy Project grew out of observations that high school students working on field-based research projects applied math-based data and graphing skills in surprisingly limited or erroneous ways.  We’ll provide an overview of the Data Literacy Project, we’ll present preliminary results from surveys in which ninth-graders were asked to graph data to compare groups and to identify correlations, and we’ll share preliminary insights gleaned from interviews with teachers about their knowledge of students’ ideas.  We’ll describe our approach to professional development for teachers to help them improve students’ use of data.  This is a progress report, and we are eager for discussion among colleagues as we refine our research into students’ thinking about data and graphs.  The Data Literacy Project is a three-year professional development and education research State MSP project funded by the Maine DOE (to the SERC Institute), in its second year of funding.