Transforming science education through research-driven innovation

R&D Programs

Browse BSCS Science Learning’s robust R&D Programs and current projects below.

Featured Programs

Making Waves: Teaching Radio to Youth and the Public

Informal LearningInstructional Materials DevelopmentTeacher Professional Learning

Making Waves with Radio is a suite of museum activities, apps, and camp curricula, for engaging educators, youth, and public audiences about radio technologies.

Place-Based Learning for Elementary Science at Scale

Instructional Materials DevelopmentResearchTeacher Professional Learning

In the Place-Based Learning for Elementary Science at Scale project, we are working with the the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance to support equitable access to place-based science learning opportunities.

STeLLA: Science Teachers Learning from Lesson Analysis

Instructional Materials DevelopmentLeadership DevelopmentResearchTeacher Professional Learning

BSCS Science Learning has developed a nationally-recognized program for teacher learning called STeLLA®, Science Teachers Learning from Lesson Analysis.

Towards a More Humane Genetics Education

Instructional Materials DevelopmentResearchTeacher Professional Learning

Racism is a serious problem in the United States. Research has shown that the biology curriculum can affect how students think about race.

Current Projects

5D Assessment

ResearchTeacher Professional Learning

The 5D Assessment Project is a NSF-funded project that seeks to help teachers adopt a 5D vision for effective science teaching and learning. In this vision, students use science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts to explain phenomena or solve design problems in ways that engage student interest and support students’ identities as knowers, doers, and users of science.

Assessing Students’ Progress on the Energy Concept Using Three-Dimensional Items (ASPECt-3D)

Instructional Materials DevelopmentResearchTeacher Professional Learning

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) identifies three equally important dimensions to learning science: science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas.

Climate Education Pathways (CLIM8)

Instructional Materials DevelopmentResearchTeacher Professional Learning

The new and innovative Climate Education Pathways project recognizes that no one size fits all when it comes to climate education. In addition to the impact of climate change on worldwide systems, localized communities are experiencing a variety of differing effects on a regional scale.

Data Nuggets


Data Nuggets, a four-year research project between Michigan State University and BSCS, studied the effects of bringing real-world data into middle and high school classrooms.

Extending and Investigating the Impact of the High School Model-based Educational Resource (MBER)

Instructional Materials DevelopmentResearch

Current research suggests that scientific models can help teachers transform their science instruction and enhance student learning.

Making Computing Visible & Tangible

Informal LearningInstructional Materials Development

The Making Computing Visible & Tangible (MCVT) project is exploring how a paper-based physical computing kit can empower youths’ and educators’ learning and engagement with key computing concepts and practices. 

OpenSciEd Developers Consortium for Middle School Science

Instructional Materials DevelopmentTeacher Professional Learning

The OpenSciEd initiative was launched to address a critical need in science education: the need for high quality instructional materials that are standards-aligned and practical for broad implementation.

PCK*lex and ArguLex


Constructed-response assessments, in which students use their own language to demonstrate knowledge, are widely viewed as providing greater insight into student thinking than multiple-choice assessments.

Planting Science: Digging Deeper Together

ResearchTeacher Professional Learning

Plants are all around us. They are essential to our existence. Yet despite their ubiquity, how many science teachers truly understand plant biology and know how to effectively teach it to their students?


ResearchTeacher Professional Learning

The STeLLA CO2 project is a NSF-funded project that seeks to use the STeLLA® conceptual framework to develop a common vision for effective science teaching and learning and enhance the coherence of preservice science teacher preparation programs at three Colorado universities.

Past Projects

Looking for something that used to be here? Check our page of archived R&D projects.

Take a look at our archived Educator Resource Center projects.