College of Science & Engineering

Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education

Discovery Research K-12 Model Of Research-based Education for Teachers (MORE)

In September 2011, the National Science Foundation funded a $3 million, five-year study at WWU, called Model of Research-based Education (MORE) for Teachers.  The purpose of the study was to examine how WWU prepares elementary teachers to teach science.  NSF’s DRK-12 program funds research projects around the country to “study the development, testing, deployment, effectiveness, and/or scale-up of innovative resources, models and tools”.  WWU’s innovative model to prepare elementary teachers to teach science includes course-work grounded in current research in education and cognitive psychology about how people learn, as well as a year-long internship.     

MORE’s research helped WWU better understand the impacts of its elementary science teacher preparation program on important beliefs, knowledge, skills, and instructional practices. MORE’s research included four studies that isolated different components of the elementary science education program at WWU, and represented the continuum for preservice teachers, from their initial science content courses through their first few years of teaching.  The four overlapping studies examined the following:

1) Impacts of the new science content sequence for elementary PSTs,
2) Effects of mentorship during the science practicum,
3) Impacts of the research-based science methods and practicum sequence, and
4) Science instruction of recent graduates from WWU’s elementary education program.

For more information explore the following documents or contact:

MORE-NSF Outcomes Report Jan 2019.pdf

MORE article.pdf

Mathew Miller, Co-Principal Investigator, email:
Dan Hanley, Co-Principal Investigator and Project Director, email:

Every Day Every Child (EDEC)

Every Day, Every Child: A Partnership for Research with Elementary Math and Science Instructional Specialists is an exploratory research project to understand and categorize instructional specialist models in mathematics and science; investigate the content knowledge, preparation and needs of teachers in these roles; determine the instructional effectiveness of instructional specialists; and determine the impact of instructional specialists on student learning and attitudes towards mathematics and science. This research will contribute to the knowledge base by providing a characterization of models of instructional specialization in mathematics and science at the elementary level. By investigating models of implementation, factors that influence implementation, preparation of teachers as instructional specialists, and their effectiveness at the classroom level, the results of this study will identify conditions under which the adoption of a specialist model is effective, which will be shared with educators across the country, both in higher-education and at the elementary level.

For more information visit the project website or contact:

Kim Markworth, Principal Investigator, email:
Chris Ohana, Co-Principal Investigator, email:

Washington Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (WA-STEM)

For more information contact:

Dan Hanley, Principal Investigator, email:

School-wide Elementary Improvement in Science and Mathematics Instruction through Collaboration (SEISMIC)

Western Washington University in partnership with Concrete, Bellingham and Sedro Woolley school districts focus on working with a whole school concept to bring school-wide systemic change in improving math and science instruction. The professional development targets rigorous content within math and science, and the authentic integration of math and science based on the CCSSM and Washington State K–12 Science Learning Standards and NGSS Framework. Professional development also helps teachers design formative assessments aligned to the math and science content. Professional Learning Communities meet monthly to share action plans, provide peer feedback and a provide collaboration among teachers. Saturday workshops are attended by both teachers and principals to analyze student work and student understanding. Principals are invited to participate in Principal leadership workshops provided by another MSP funded grant (TWSSP). Seventy-five K-5 teachers will participate in the 3 year project.

SEISMIC Website containing slide presentations and documents

For more information contact:

Kim Markworth, Principal Investigator, email:
Shannon Warren, Project Director, email:

The Whole School Success Partnership (TWSSP)

The Whole School Success Partnership is focused on improving student achievement in five schools in three districts through changing instructional, leadership, and collaborative practices. Western Washington University faculty are partnering with schools to achieve two overarching goals:

1) improve teachers' subject-matter knowledge in the academic subjects that the teachers teach (mathematics, science, and/ or English Language Arts).

2) improve principal and assistant principal's subject matter content and instructional leadership skills specific to mathematics, science, and English Language Arts.

For more information contact:

Emily Borda, Principal Investigator, email:
Shannon Warren, Project Director, email:

North Cascades and Olympic Science Partnership (NCOSP)

Click Here for more information