mustard field, Inverness

Inverness Research works with projects large and small, from multi-institutional initiatives of national scope, to state or regional efforts, to local projects. Our projects cover a variety of disciplines, including cross-STEM areas, specific disciplines within STEM, and literacy education. Many projects also include a focus on the development of teacher leadership, on the formation of professional or organizational networks, or on the formation of centers and other inter-institutional collaborations. While much of our work centers on improvement in K-12 education, a good number of projects involve higher education partners and include outcomes for higher education. We work with projects in both the formal and informal education domains. The examples below are intended to indicate the range and kinds of work we do.

Maine Physical Sciences Partnership, 2011 – present

Funded by the National Science Foundation’s Mathematics Science Partnership (MSP) program, the Maine PSP is a 5-year statewide effort to improve STEM teaching and learning at the middle school, high school, and university undergraduate and masters levels in rural Maine.

Inverness Research roles-
Evaluating. Formative evaluation through documentation of classroom practice, student experience, and faculty perspectives over time. Documenting unique project contributions and innovations.
Conceptualizing and Planning. Strategic planning for project sustainability

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation: The BaySci Science-Rich Education Institution Learning Community, 2012-present

The BaySci SREI Learning Community supports cross-institutional professional development for informal science educators in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Inverness Research roles-
Identifying opportunities. Identified an investment opportunity to use a network approach to build greater capacity within Bay Area science-rich education institutions to support STEM improvement in the region.
Implementing. Conceptualized, designed, and implemented the SREI Learning Community program for BaySci.
Evaluating. Serving as critical friend and providing developmental evaluation for BaySci.

Intersections: A Collaboration of the National Writing Project and the Association of Science-Technology Centers, 2011-present

Funded by the National Science Foundation, the Intersections project supports inter-institutional partnerships between science-technology museums and local NWP sites to develop programs for teachers that promote the learning of science with writing and writing with science.

Inverness Research roles-
Conceptualizing and Planning. Convened NWP and ASTC leadership with NSF to formulate the concept. Facilitated the initial design and proposal process. Conducting case studies to document program designs and contributions.
Evaluating. Developmental evaluation for the initial cohort of partners. Formative evaluation for partnership activities and network growth over time.

Mathematics Assessment Resource Service-Mathematics Assessment Project: 2010 – present

MARS MAP is a Gates Foundation-funded effort to create innovative formative assessment curriculum in mathematics to help teachers realize Common Core State Standards.

Inverness Research role-
Evaluating. Documented the MAP theory of action to explain to the field the role of the Gates Foundation’s investment in realizing CCSS. Created a portfolio of evaluation briefs and reports that explain and portray MARS MAP formative assessment lessons to multiple potential users, including teachers and local policy makers.

Golden Gate Bridge Outdoor Exhibition, 2009 – present

Funded by the National Science Foundation’s Advancing Informal STEM program, and led by the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District (GGBHD) and the Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering (CUREE), the Golden Gate Bridge project explores the use of large public works projects as sites for informal learning.

Inverness Research role-
Evaluating. Front-end developmental evaluation to inform the design of exhibits for the Golden Gate Bridge.
Formative evaluation for exhibit prototyping. Documented an international conference and created an article on science education in public works settings around the world.

Sonoma Valley Unified School District/Exploratorium English Language Development and Science Program: 2010 – present

Funded by a U.S. Department of Education Investing in Innovation (i3) grant, this project is developing new modes of teaching aimed at improving both students’ English language development and science learning.

Inverness Research role-
Evaluating. Developmental evaluation to refine the initial design of the program. Groundtruthed project activities to strengthen the congruence between the theory of action and reality. Documented key features of the innovation and collected evidence of its success for both teachers and students.

Paul G. Allen Family Foundation: The Allen Distinguished Educators Program, 2012 – present

The Allen Distinguished Educators (ADE) Program awards extraordinary teachers who transform students’ lives through engineering and entrepreneurship education and supports the scale-up and visibility of their approaches.

Inverness Research roles-
Identifying opportunities. Identified and analyzed multiple potential investment opportunities in K-12 STEM teaching and learning.
Conceptualizing and Planning. Contributed to the design of the Allen Distinguished Educator (ADE) Program.
Implementing. Identified candidates for the inaugural cohort of Allen Distinguished Educators. Facilitated the launch and cohort meetings for the program. Created documentary materials depicting ADEs and their programs. Worked with Allen program officers to evolve the design of the initiative.

National Writing Project, 1994 – present

The National Writing project is the longest-standing and largest professional development project in the nation, launched in 1974 and comprising nearly 200 local sites, each of which is a university-school partnership.

Inverness Research role-
Evaluating. Created first database of all sites’ programs and activities. Formative evaluator for New Teacher Initiative and Technology Initiative. Collaborator on Teacher Leadership Study. Prepared white paper and portfolio of slide presentations for members of Congress to explain the NWP infrastructure as federal investment. Delivered plenary presentations for NWP Annual Meeting conferences. Formative evaluation for the College Ready Writers Program, a federal Investing in Innovation (i3) grant.

Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network, 2010 – 2013

CLEAN is a 3-year, NSF-funded National Science Digital Library Pathways project, the primary outcome of which is an online curated collection of climate and energy teaching resources for teachers grades 6 – 16, as well as climate and energy literacy principles for educators.

Inverness Research role-
Evaluating. External summative evaluator for NSF. Created a national informant pool of climate science educators to evaluate resources and website. Wrote a report on the national landscape of climate change education.

American Museum of Natural History’s Seminars on Science Program, 1999-present

Seminars on Science are on-line, standards-aligned, for-credit science content courses that give educators access to the world-class scientific research and resources of the AMNH.

Inverness Research role-
Evaluating. Critical friend to inform initial design and extensions over time. Formative evaluation for prototype iteration and catalogue expansion. Summative evaluation of the value of the courses for educators and the ways in which educators made use of SoS courses to enhance their teaching. Produced a portfolio of evaluation products for SoS website. Contributed to conference papers in collaboration with AMNH staff.

California’s Local Control Funding Formula, 2014

California overhauled its school funding formula, a major policy shift with wide-reaching implications.

Inverness Research role-
Evaluating. Collaborated on a Bechtel Foundation-funded statewide “quick-response” team of affiliated research groups to document field realities of initial policy implementation.