Content Areas Archive

STEM; STEAM Projects and Publications

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Evaluating Women in Natural Sciences for the Academy of Natural Sciences

RFA is serving as the evaluator for the Academy of Natural Sciences (ANS) Women in Natural Sciences (WINS) project. Since its inception in 1982, WINS has introduced more than 770 Philadelphia girls to careers in…

Examining a Math Intervention in Philadelphia Schools: An RCT in Partnership with RAND

RFA is partnering with RAND to conduct an RCT on a math intervention in nine Philadelphia high schools. The math intervention, ALEKS, is a web-based intelligent tutoring system being used in 20 Algebra I classrooms…

STEM Training for Philadelphia Teachers: An Evaluation Funded by the National Science Foundation

RFA serves as the external evaluator for the GRASP-Teacher Partnership in Robotics Education (TPRE) project funded by the National Science Foundation. TPRE provides 6th-8th grade Philadelphia teachers a six-week summer engineering and robotics research experience…

Integrative Arts Programs in Philadelphia: An Examination of Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program in Four Public Schools

RFA served as the evaluator of an arts integration initiative launched by Philadelphia’s nationally-renowned Mural Arts Program. This two-year, mixed-methods study identified successes, challenges and lessons learned as this initiative is implemented in four Philadelphia…

Artwell’s HeartBeat Program: An Evaluation of an Elementary School Music Education Initiative

RFA served as the evaluator for a program providing weekly music education to K-5 students in Philadelphia public schools.

When the Maker Movement Meets STEAM: Evaluating Maker Jawn in Philadelphia’s Free Library

RFA served as an evaluator for the Free Library of Philadelphia’s intergenerational STEAM initiative, which provides creative library spaces for community members in underserved North Philadelphia neighborhoods.

Afterschool Arts Programming in the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of America: A Mixed-Methods Evaluation

RFA partnered with McClanahan and Associates, Inc. to conduct a five-year mixed-methods evaluation of after-school arts programming in Boys & Girls Clubs funded by the Wallace Foundation. Our work provided actionable, formative feedback to each…

Tracking the Implementation and Success of Academically-Oriented After-School Programs: 21st Century Grants

The 21st Century grant program of the U.S. Department of Education supports the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. RFA…

After-School Science Programming in West Virginia: An Evaluation Funded by the National Science Foundation

Since 2011, The National Science Foundation-funded project, SCI TALKS: Supporting Community Initiatives for Teaching, Learning and Knowing Science, has provided 247 at-risk West Virginia youth with innovative, engaging and meaningful after-school science taught by elementary…

An Evaluation of How Science Leadership Academy Graduates and Preparedness for Postsecondary STEM Majors

RFA was commissioned by The Franklin Institute and Science Leadership Academy in spring 2011 to research how the first cohort of graduates from SLA fared as they entered postsecondary institutions. This study has a special…

Which Bets Paid Off? Estimating the Effects on Middle Grades Achievement of More than a Decade of Ambitious Reform in Philadelphia

RFA worked with researchers at Johns Hopkins University who are principal investigators in an National Science Foundation-funded project to study long-term trends in mathematics and science reform in the middle grades in Philadelphia. Johns Hopkins…

An Evaluation of the New Jersey Graduate-K12 Partnership: Rutgers University

RFA evaluated a partnership between Rutgers University and surrounding school districts. In this partnership, graduate students in mathematics and science team up with middle school teachers with the goal of increasing public awareness of cutting…

A Study of Curriculum Implementation in the Greater Philadelphia Secondary Mathematics Project (GPSMP)

RFA participated in a study of the impact of a mathematics curriculum reform in 10 districts in the Philadelphia area.

An Evaluation of Metro Math: The Center for Mathematics in American Cities

MetroMath is a partnership among Rutgers, University of Pennsylvania, and City University of New York, funded by the National Science Foundation, with the goal of developing a new generation of leaders in mathematics education for…

A Pilot Study of Young Children’s Mathematical Learning In and Out of School

RFA received support from the William Penn Foundation for a pilot study of the language and numeracy practices of urban elementary school children both in the classroom and at home. The aim of this project…

An Action Research Project: Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Project with the Philadelphia Schools

RFA provided the PMA education staff with a series of professional development sessions. The sessions focused on the skills and practices of program assessment and evaluation. The research focused on two Museum programs: an after-school…

A Study of How 8th Grade Students Understand High Standards Reforms and the Impact on Academic Engagement and Achievement: Spencer Foundation

The Spencer Foundation awarded RFA a planning grant to examine eighth grade students' school experiences and achievement as they encountered higher level mathematics courses, increased course requirements, and a newly mandated independent learning project.

An Evaluation of the Keystone Science Network (KSN): Franklin Institute Science Museum

RFA conducted a three-year evaluation of the KSN, a project of The Franklin Institute of Philadelphia. KSN's goal is to create a professional learning community in eastern Pennsylvania, which promotes the implementation of standards-based K-8…

A Capacity Building Project with Art Educators: National Arts and Education Consortium (NAEC)

NAEC, funded by the Getty Foundation and the Annenberg Foundation, sought to catalyze and support whole school reform through an integrated approach to arts education. Each of NAEC's six regional centers provided leadership and technical…

An Evaluation of Science All Around Us: Please Touch Museum

Philadelphia's Please Touch Museum developed and distributed science kits, prepackaged materials and activities for pre-schoolers and provided professional development for preschool teachers through a grant from the National Science Foundation. RFA helped the Please Touch…

An Evaluation of the Regional Environmental Education Program Middle School and High School Curriculum: Schuylkill Valley Nature Center

An evaluation of the Regional Environmental Education Program (REEP) developed by the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education (SCEE) to promote awareness of environmental issues among schoolchildren. An analysis of data from the 1995-1996 school year…

An Evaluation of the Science Learning Network (SLN): Franklin Institute Science Museum

The Science Learning Network (SLN) was a telecomputing project of The Franklin Institute in collaboration with Unisys Corporation and five other urban science museums and their partner schools. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the…

An Evaluation of the Philadelphia Urban Systemic Program (USP): School District of Philadelphia

Supported by the National Science Foundation, the Urban Systemic Project (USP) was a systemic change initiative charged by the School District of Philadelphia to reform math, science and technology instruction and produce high levels of…

An Evaluation of the New York City Mathematics Project: Lehman College, City University of New York

The New York City Mathematics Project requested an evaluation of the impact of the implementation of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards on urban schools and students. RFA designed a formative evaluation process…

An Evaluation of the Science Resource Leaders Program: School District of Philadelphia and PATHS/PRISM

Science Resource Leaders (SRL) was a project of the School District of Philadelphia and PATHS/PRISM funded by the National Science Foundation. Its goal was to provide professional development for middle school science teachers who could…

Research for Action’s Evaluation of 21st Century Community Learning Center Grantees: A Snapshot of OST Programs in Philadelphia in 2013-14

21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) grants are designed to support out-of-school time (OST) programs that provide academic support for youth attending high-poverty, underperforming schools. The programs also offer enrichment activities, such as art…

MDC’s Influence on Teaching and Learning

RFA has been studying MDC since its inception in 2010. With the support of the Gates Foundation, RFA has been examining the implementation of MDC, as well as the context and conditions necessary for scaling…

A Snapshot of OST Programs in Philadelphia: An Evaluation of Eleven 21st Century Community Learning Center Grantees

21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) grants are designed to support out-of-school time (OST) programs that provide academic support for youth attending high-poverty, under performing schools. The programs also offer enrichment activities such as…

Brief Three: Robust Implementation of MDC: Teacher Perceptions of Tool Use and Outcomes

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has invested in the development and dissemination of high-quality instructional and formative assessment tools to support teachers' incorporation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) into their classroom instruction.…

Establishing a Strong Foundation: District and School Supports for Classroom Implementation of the MDC Framework

In 2010-11, the Mathematics Design Collaborative (MDC) was piloted in four districts and two networks of schools. In most cases, school districts applied for and received grants to implement MDC; in others, national networks were…