Sarah Powell, principal investigator of multiple MCPER projects and fellow in the Mathematics and Science Institute for Students With Special Needs, has won the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.
The award is the "highest honor bestowed by the United States Government to outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and who show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology," according to a White House press release. President Trump announced the winners on July 2. Powell was nominated by the U.S. Department of Education. She will receive the award at a White House ceremony.
Established in 1996 by President Clinton, the award "embodies the high priority placed by the government on maintaining the leadership position of the United States in science by producing outstanding scientists and engineers and nurturing their continued development. The Awards identify a cadre of outstanding scientists and engineers who will broadly advance science and the missions important to the participating agencies," according to the National Science Foundation website.
Please join us in congratulating Powell on this outstanding achievement.
Project AIM is seeking sixth-grade mathematics interventionists to partner in a 1-year algebra-readiness intervention study.
To qualify, schools must have at least one math interventionist who teaches at least two class periods of students struggling in math. This randomized control study also requires comparison classes.
Project AIM has developed four intervention modules to improve students' mathematics performance through conceptual understanding, problem-solving ability, and self-regulation skills. Participating schools will receive electronic copies of all instructional materials upon completion of the study, allowing them to use the research-validated practices in subsequent years. In addition, participating teachers will receive a $300 to $400 stipend and a half-day of professional development.
Diane Pedrotty Bryant, director of MCPER's Mathematics and Science Institute for Students With Special Needs, and Brian R. Bryant, an institute principal investigator and fellow, were invited to present at the Building Bridges III Conference from May 30 to June 1 in Belize City, Belize.
The event was a collaborative effort of the Belize Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, and Culture and the University of Nevada Las Vegas to learn from one another and explore cooperative research and practice projects. Building Bridges is an annual conference that moves each year to a different country.
Diane Pedrotty Bryant presented the paper “Elements of Effective Instruction: Key Features of Early Mathematics Interventions,” and Brian R. Bryant presented the poster session “Differentiating Instruction Using the ADAPT Framework.”
The video below, made available by Channel 5 Belize, features an interview with Candy Armstrong, the director for education support services in the Belize Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, and Culture. The video includes footage of Brian R. Bryant presenting.
Sarah Powell wins Distinguished Early Career Research Award
February 22, 2018
MCPER Principal Investigator Sarah Powell has earned the Council for Exceptional Children's Distinguished Early Career Research Award.
Powell, who heads multiple projects in MCPER's Mathematics and Science Institute for Students With Special Needs, received the award at an event on February 9 in Tampa, Florida.
The award "recognizes individuals who have made outstanding scientific contributions in basic and/or applied research in special education within the first 10 years after receiving the doctoral degree," according to a Council for Exceptional Children announcement. "Powell is one of, if not the, most promising young scholars in the area of mathematics education and high incidence disabilities. Her mathematics intervention work is theoretically based and gaining considerable recognition in the United States and internationally."
For more information, visit the Council for Exceptional Children website.
Brian R. Bryant, a fellow and principal investigator with MCPER's Mathematics Institute for Learning Disabilities and Difficulties, was tabbed as a guest editor of a special issue of the journal Assistive Technology.
Bryant and Soonhwa Seok of Texas State University co-edited the special issue, titled "Technology-Based Instruction." In the introduction, Bryant and Seok write of the special issue that "noted scholars contribute research findings designed to add to the growing body of knowledge validating the use of assistive and instructional technology in the classroom."
One article, "Assessing the Acquisition of Requesting a Variety of Preferred Items Using Different Speech Generating Device Formats for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder," is written by Mark O'Reilly, chair of the UT Austin Department of Special Education, and colleagues.
MCPER has been awarded a $2.5 million, 4-year federal grant to launch the Scientific Explorers project, which will design and test a science program for the full range of second-grade learners, including those with or at risk for learning disabilities in mathematics, reading, and science.
The goal of the Scientific Explorers program, funded by the National Science Foundation Discovery Research PreK–12 program, is to lay an early foundation for science learning, drawing upon the disciplinary core ideas and cross-cutting concepts related to Earth’s Systems in the Next Generation Science Standards. The project also will develop and test an accompanying science assessment. In year 4, the project will conduct a pilot study of the program and assessment in 40 second-grade classrooms in Texas and Virginia.
MCPER's Christian Doabler is the project's principal investigator. Sarah Powell of MCPER, Victor Sampson of the UT Austin College of Education, and Bill Therrien of the University of Virginia are the co-principal investigators. MCPER's Greg Roberts and Anna-Mari Fall are the project’s methodologists.
"A robust understanding of disciplinary core ideas and practices in science is necessary for obtaining jobs in the STEM fields," Doabler said. "Yet, few effective instructional tools exist for the science classroom."
For more information, visit the Scientific Explorers project webpage.
MCPER researchers Sarah Powell and Sharon Vaughn have received a $1 million grant from the T.L.L. Temple Foundation to develop and use math and reading read-alouds with young children.
The 5-year project, Interactive Read-Alouds for Prekindergarten and Kindergarten to Improve Literacy and Numeracy Skills, will aim to improve the read-aloud practices of caregivers and teachers of children ages 3 to 6. A read-aloud is when an adult reads aloud to a child and engages the child in discussion and exploration as the reading occurs.
“Many parents and teachers read story books aloud to young children, but books about early math concepts are used infrequently,” Powell said. “With this project, we aim to improve typical routines with read-alouds so that teachers and parents not only focus on reading but also discuss math vocabulary and math content with young children.”
One aim of the T.L.L. Temple Foundation, based in Lufkin, Texas, is to address low rates of educational attainment in East Texas. With this grant, the researchers will work with caregivers and teachers in East Texas to increase home and school literacy and numeracy discussions and activities.
The project will design a set of research-based practices that will be useful and effective for caregivers and teachers throughout Texas, ensuring that youngsters will be more prepared for kindergarten and beyond.
“We are so proud to be working with the T.L.L. Temple Foundation to better outcomes in early literacy and numeracy,” Vaughn said. “We consider it a huge honor to have received this grant and are very grateful for their support.”
For more information, visit the project webpage.
In a new article, MCPER Mathematics Institute Director Diane Bryant and Principal Investigator Sarah Powell provide a consise summary of the mathematics practices that are supported by the best evidence and can be implemented every day in all grades.
"Making the Numbers Add Up: What Solid Research Tells Us About Teaching Math" appears in the June issue of Texas Lone Star, a publication of the Texas Association of School Boards. In the article, Bryant and Powell explore the importance of teaching mathematics vocabulary; having students show their work; and starting early on the path to college and career readiness—in elementary school—by ensuring that young students develop fluency and automaticity with computation, and with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts.
The article also points readers to MCPER's 10 Key Mathematics Practices for All Elementary Schools and 10 Key Mathematics Practices for All Middle and High Schools. Both guides include practical, research-based recommendations that states, school districts, and schools can use to improve students' mathematics outcomes.
For more information on MCPER's mathematics work, visit the Mathematics Institute for Learning Disabilities and Difficulties.
MCPER's Mathematics Institute for Learning Disabilities and Difficulties held a Central Texas School District Mathematics Forum luncheon on April 22. The purpose of the forum was to identify and problem-solve issues that districts encounter in mathematics instruction. Administrators and curriculum directors and specialists attended the forum. Barbara Dougherty, a research professor at the University of Missouri and Mathematics Institute fellow, was featured as the luncheon speaker. The Math Institute looks forward to more collaborative partnerships with school districts.
Sarah Powell, a principal investigator in MCPER's Mathematics Institute, has won the Samuel A. Kirk Award for the best practice article of 2015 in the journal Learning Disabilities Research & Practice.
Powell co-authored "Intensive Intervention in Mathematics" with Lynn Fuchs of Vanderbilt University. For a description and full citation of the article, visit the MCPER Library. For more information or to obtain the article, visit the journal's website.
Powell joins Eunsoo Cho and colleagues, who won the Kirk Award for the research category.