NSF STEM-C Partnerships Program Solicitation Released: New form of CE21

December 19, 2013 at 10:08 pm 5 comments

Just posted by Jeff Forbes to the SIGCSE-Members list.

NSF has released a new solicitation relevant to CS education.

STEM-C Partnerships: Computing Education for the 21st Century (14-523)
http://nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503582

The STEM-C Partnerships combines and advances the efforts of both the former Math and Science Partnership (MSP) and Computing Education for the 21st Century (CE21) programs. STEM-CP: CE21 modifies the earlier CE21 program by:

- Merging the previous Broadening Participation (BP) and Computing Education Research (CER) tracks into a single Broadening Participation and Education in Computing (BPEC) track focused on building an evidence base for student learning of computing fundamentals applicable to the elementary, middle, or high school levels;
- Requiring a Broadening Participation component for all proposals on the CS 10K track; and
- Adding a third track, STEM-C Partnerships Computer Science Education Expansion, that aims to expand the work of previously funded NSF MSP Partnerships to increase the number of qualified computer science teachers and the number of high schools with rigorous computer science courses.

Please review the solicitation for the requirements and goals of the three tracks.

The next deadline for proposals is March 18, 2014.

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. alanone1  |  December 20, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Just noting the distressing, seemingly ever-increasing, side-conditions, and not just goals (instead of visions) but outright restrictions on methods. Even for exclusively trying to fund engineering projects, this is not a good idea.

    Why would anyone want to stick their hand in this idea disposal unit?

    Reply
    • 2. Mark Guzdial  |  December 20, 2013 at 10:25 am

      Because it’s the only game in town.

      Reply
      • 3. alanone1  |  December 20, 2013 at 10:44 am

        Hi Mark –

        If it’s not a good game, then it’s both an opportunity and (I think) an obligation to invent and distribute a new good game.

        This is especially the case for NSF, where the community is drawn from to help run the funding process — a lot of the blame for the decline over the last few decades (especially the last one) has to rest with the computing community itself.

        It is very often (most often) the case that trying to optimize a bad idea results in not just a bad idea, but a worse idea.

        I.e. more epicycles on a bad theory at some point leads to a cargo-cult-like religion that enforces the use of epicycles instead of the initial idea of using a epicycle here or there until a better theory emerges.

        I spent most of yesterday attending a review in which a technologist I think very highly of had gotten a generous grant by NSF standards (from a different funding agency) for a really interesting and very promising proposal for helping 6th graders learn math. The oversight committee that gave the grant, gave it with many side-conditions and a poorly conceived review process.

        The technologist had made very good progress at the two year mark but the imposition of the core standards in such a rigid way, is ensuring that even if the project is successful (and many excellent things have been accomplished so far), it will not actually help 6th graders learn much — if anything — about real math or how to think fluently along its metes and bounds.

        This is not a new or unique story — far from it. In the end, the overall criteria for “success” clearly had nothing to do with mathematics or learning.

        Reply
  • […] STEM-C is the new NSF program that supersedes the old CE21 and BPC programs.  Chris Hoadley is a learning scientist whom I first met when he was a graduate student at Berkeley working with Marcia Linn.  He’s done great work in computer-supported collaborative learning and in design-based research methodology in the learning sciences. […]

    Reply
  • […] of the big focal research areas in the new NSF STEM-C solicitation is “learning progressions.”  Where can we reasonably expect students to start in learning computer science?  How fast can we […]

    Reply

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