Funded Agency Awards

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Heliophysics Education Consortium (HEC)

IITTL/UNT and dozens of science education and technology partners nationwide are working with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center on a five-year mission to encourage interest in space science. UNT will provide formative and summative evaluation of the products/programs spawned through the STEM Innovation Lab at Goddard, vetted and refined in our Design Research Lab environment at UNT, and pilot-tested in informal learning environments to produce a sound and timely research base of demonstrated effects on knowledge of and interest in technology-infused activities related to Space Science. Publications demonstrating measurable effects will be produced.

Project timeline: August 2016 - August 2021. PR No. 4200592826

American Innovations in 3-D in an Age of Discovery: Teaching Science and Engineering through Historical Reconstruction 

This 3-year project, funded by the National Science Foundation, will give students the opportunity to use three-dimensional print technology to create models of historically significant inventions using templates made available thanks to the Smithsonian Institution. Modules will be created to allow students to make connections with the devices they print. One project goal is to advance the efforts of the Innovation Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program. Another goal is to better understand and promote practices that increase students’ motivation to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The project’s overall goal is to document the impact of the modules on student learning in science and engineering courses and to understand how historical inventions can be used to engage students. The data will be collected through module usage, classroom observation, and interviews.

Project timeline: August 2015 - August 2018. NSF # 14-512

NSF/Going Green! Middle Schoolers Out to Save the World (MSOSW): Middle School Students & Science

In this four-year ITEST Scale-up project, 1400 middle school students from twenty-four classrooms in Maine, Vermont, Virginia, North Carolina, Louisiana, Texas, and Hawaii will monitor home energy consumption under the supervision of their teachers and use data gathered to develop optimum scenarios for conserving energy and reducing the global production of greenhouse gases. The focus of student activities will be centered around stand-by power. Standby power consumption is a rapidly-growing area of global concern due to the large number of electrical devices with ‘instant on’ features in our modern day world. A two-stage process of: a) training middle school teachers, and b) supporting classroom implementation, will result in three instructional cycles taking place during the four years of the project. Pre-post assessments of science content knowledge and interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as a career will demonstrate that the students completing MSOSW activities will be more inclined, compared to their non-MSOSW peers, to be on a path of knowledge and interest leading to a STEM career.

Project timeline: September 2013 - August 2017. NSF (ITEST) Grant # 1312168


ITEST/Fab @ School: Elementary School Students and Engineering

The Classroom FabLab coalition was established to prepare students for the next industrial revolution and encourage them to pursue STEM-related careers by developing fabrication laboratories (FabLabs) for the classroom. The Classroom FabLab is a scaled-down version of the FabLab developed by Neil Gershenfeld at MIT. The Classroom FabLab hardware employs similar principles, but fabricates materials such as paper, cardstock, and vinyl instead of metal and wood. Consequently Classroom FabLab systems can be developed for a cost of as little as $500 rather than $50,000 to $100,000.  This makes digital fabrication in the elementary and middle-school grades scalable and will allow students to learn skills and concepts such as 3D visualization that are equally applicable to larger industrial systems. The Classroom FabLab will be used to enhance technology, mathematics, and engineering (STEM) instruction while preparing students for the STEM workforce.

Project timeline: August 2010 - August 2015. NSF (ITEST) Grant # 1030865


ITEST/MSOSW: Middle School Students & Science

This project focused on pre-teen enthusiasm for activity in the direction of solving real world problems, while also promoting knowledge of and interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics 
(STEM). A collaboration among the University of North Texas, SolarQuest Educational Foundation Inc., and The Global Challenge Award program proposes a new middle school ITEST project focused on children using energy monitoring equipment in 
diverse home and community settings. Student-gathered data will be used to build accurate, scientifically important models of energy consumption in communities 

Project timeline: October 2008-September 2013. NSF # 0833706


Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE): simMentoring: Simulating Classroom InstructionGates Educause - Next Generation Learning Challenges: simSchool: Deeper Learning Experiences

This project implemented, evaluated and reported on the potential for a network-based computer application to enhance pedagogical expertise through a web-based, dynamic simulation of a classroom where novice teachers are initially guided through the simulations by experienced teachers.Future teachers gained classroom experience with a wide range of simulated students, including those within the normal range of attention and motivation variations, as well as selected cases of students with disabilities. During the project over 300 new teachers received simMentoring training over the three years. Anticipated outcomes were increased retention rates for teachers with greater pedagogical experience,  leading to greater student learning and achievement. 

For more information on simSchool :

Project timeline:  October 2008 - July 2010. U.S. Department of Education P116B060398

NSF/SETT: simSchool for Special Populations

This highly experienced team, led by a researcher with a special education background, benefited from collaborations with David Gibson, the developer of the simSchool system, as well as partnerships with teacher education faculty from the University of Maine-Farmington, the University of Nevada-Reno, Southeastern Louisiana University, and the University of Florida-Gainesville. Ten teachers, who are graduate students at the University of North Texas (UNT), participated in this project and the impact of their training was assessed on 80 K-12 students with disabilities and 420 students without disabilities. An additional 20 third and fourth grade students with disabilities and 30 third and fourth grade students without disabilities, from the Elm Fork Educational Program sponsored at the UNT, participated in the validity testing phase of this project.This project addressed the RDE-FRI track goal of investigating effective instructional methods and practices for people with disabilities in STEM by measuring the impact of teacher training on science education for third and fourth graders with disabilities. 

Project timeline: August, 2007 - May, 2010. NSF # 10620

PT3/TITE-N: Technology & Teacher Preparation

The primary goal of the TITE-N three-year project was to increase the proficiency of pre-service teachers in applying modern technology to K-12 instruction. The University of Nevada Reno (UNR) has been the lead organization for TITE-N. The Institute for the Integration of Technology into Teaching and Learning (IITTL) at the University of North Texas has been the external evaluator since the inception of the project. During the three-year project, 50 Student Technology Integration Consultants (STICs) were selected and trained to be technology integrating educators. The selection process included interviews and required successful progression in the teacher education program. Baseline data were gathered online from the participating STICS each year prior to receiving their training as well as subsequent to their training. During summer institutes these participants learned a wide variety of technology skills and strategies for the educational uses of technology in the classroom.

Project timeline: February 2007- 2009

PT3/Millennium I & II: Technology & Tomorrow's Teachers

The Millennium Project: Pathways for Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers to Infuse Technology" is a Department of Education grant awarded to 12 partners (including TCEA) working to make a difference in the education of preservice teachers and their use of technology in the classrooms of the future. The partners in this grant are: Aubrey ISD, Carroll ISD, Dallas ISD, Duncanville ISD, Little Elm ISD, Sanger ISD, North Central Texas College, Tarrant County College, Texas Association for Educational Technology (TAET), TCEA, and the University of North Texas College of Education and School of Visual Arts.

Project timeline: October 2003 - September 2006. P342A030147

NSF/DAMSALS2: Louisiana ITEST Evaluation

A 1.2 million grant with the University of Louisiana at Monroe for teachers to learn how to integrate science, technology and agriculture to teach it to their students. 

Project timeline: Spring 2004-Summer 2007


NSF/BUGS: Middle School Girls & Science

Bringing Up Girls in Science (BUGS) is a demonstration project in the Department of Technology and Cognition at the University of North Texas (UNT). The goal of this project was to provide educational experiences in an outdoor learning lab for girls in grades four and five that will increase girls' interest, participation, self-concept, knowledge, and achievement in the environmental sciences. During Year One, 30 fourth and fifth grade girls (BUGS participants) participated in an after school outdoor science lab at Sam Houston Elementary in the Denton Independent School District in Denton, TX. Participants for the project will be recruited from across the district. BUGS participants were mentored by female high school students enrolled in the Texas Academy for Mathematics and Science (TAMS). BUGS participants and mentors will be joined the second and third year of the project by girls in special populations at distance sites through the use of two-way audio-visual desktop conferencing tools, a project WEB site, chat rooms, and computer "pen-pals." For the second and third year special populations joining in the project included: (1) students with emotional and behavioral problems attending Rose Street Day Program and Therapeutic School in Wichita Falls, TX; (2) a school district which serves large numbers of Hispanic and Native American students in Bernalillo, New Mexico; and (3) students from a rural school district in Decatur, Texas. BUGS participants at distance sites were able to use electronic field trips developed from activities that were videotaped during Year One to increase their opportunities to participate in the "outdoor science lab experience.'' 

Project timeline: May 31,2001-June 27, 2003. NSF # 0114917 

TICF/KIDS: Technology-Based Reading Achievement Evaluation

The Key Instructional Design Strategies (KIDS) Project was one of 14 Technology Innovation Challenge Grants awarded for 1999 - 2004 by the United States Department of Education. Fifty Texas school districts were involved by year five of the project. The KIDS model for technology-intensive education was refined in Allen Independent School District, a northern suburb of Dallas, during the first year of the project. Transferability of the model was demonstrated in Laredo, a largely-Hispanic suburban district, and in San Vicente, a geographically remote, small rural district, during year two. KIDS Project resources and activities were then disseminated to rural school districts across Texas in years 3-5 through a series of intensive summer professional development institutes, through hardware/software resources allocated directly to local districts, and through technology-intensive services featuring a Lightspan-developed, Internet-delivered, Early Reading Center for K-3 students funded by the project.

Project timeline: 1999-2004

Intel PR eService Teach to the Future

Intel Pre-service Teach to the Future provided training, materials and a laptop to faculty members who were selected to participate. For each faculty member who received the Intel training, materials were provided for each of their preservice students.

Project timeline: 2001-2006

TEA TIP & STAR/Irving Laptop Initiative Evaluation

Irving ISD is a leader in the implementation of 1-to-1 laptop programs at the high school level. We believe that technology, as a tool, has the ability to drastically change teaching and learning, and when coupled with student laptops (available 24/7), our students will be empowered for their future.

Project timeline: 2001 - 2006

Maine Learning with Technology Initiative

Maine was the first state to taken on the task of widespread implementation of one-to-one computing. The state of Maine has made significant investments to ensure their students have equitable access to appropriate technologies. The Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) has as its goal to provide a laptop computer to every student in grades 7 through 12.  In the first years more than 39,000 devices in Maine’s 241 middle schools were deployed.  In so doing, the Initiative seeks to transform teaching and learning in Maine’s public schools.  IITTL was an external evaluator for the MLTI project. 

Project timeline: 2002-2004

U.S. Dept. of Commerce/ARTS to the Delta Project Evaluation

ARTS (Asynchronously Routing Technology Solutions) to the Delta was an advanced-technology project for northeast Louisiana that provided a gateway for education, skills training, and enrichment for Delta-area students. The project’s stated goals were to provide – through the latest video conferencing and broadband technologies – 1) educational opportunities to increase student academic performance and retention; 2) skills enhancement to encourage entrepreneurship and life-long learning among economically-distressed Delta residents; and 3) intercommunication opportunities so that Delta residents can experience "virtually" beyond their present condition. The project was awarded funding by the U.S. Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in October 2001. IITTL served as the external evaluator. 

Project timeline: 2002-2004