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New NSF-backed, Independent Research Study Shows Project-Based Inquiry Curriculum Materials Has a Positive Effect on How Students Learn Science and on Leveling the STEM Playing Field.
NSF-backed study is the first to examine use by middle-school teachers and students of science curriculum aligned with the new Framework for K-12 Science Education and Next Generation Science Standards. The study used an NGSS-aligned curriculum called Project-Based Inquiry Science™ published by IT’S ABOUT TIME®.
The most profound finding to come out of the study indicates that students taught using project-based inquiry curriculum aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) substantially outperformed students taught using a traditional science curriculum. The results of the research have broad-reaching implications for the entire education spectrum — from classroom and student engagement, to teacher Professional Development, to education policies at the state and national level.
The independent, randomized controlled study conducted by SRI International*, compared the impact of the research-based, NGSS-aligned curriculum called Project-based Inquiry Science™ (“PBIS”), published by IT’S ABOUT TIME® (“IAT”), to traditional science curriculum materials for middle-school students in a large and diverse urban school district. The study focused on two areas of science: earth science (processes that shape the Earth’s surface) and physical science (energy).
3 Big Takeaways
1. Success: Students taught using the Project-based Inquiry Science curriculum materials outperformed students who were taught using standard science curriculum materials.
2. The Great Equalizer: Project-based Inquiry Science curriculum can help close the learning gaps among students of underrepresented demographics in STEM fields and level the field between girls and boys.
3. Teacher/Student Engagement Increases: The study shows that PBIS teachers in the study (who were all new to the curriculum) were more likely to engage their students.