The School of Education faculty is deeply engaged in our local community. This engagement is not limited to research projects with teachers and schools, but also involves significant, long-term outreach projects with a variety of community partners. Here is just a sampling of our STEM research and outreach programs in the local community:


Boulder Area STEM Education Coalition

Noah Finkelstein 
A coalition dedicated to promoting interest and excellence in STEM education and to expanding access to STEM in Boulder Communities and the region.


Collaborative Infographics for Science Literacy (CISL)

Joe Polman
A National Science Foundation Cyberlearning grant begun in 2012 to investigate the potential of learning environments that involve high school students in data journalism, both in school science classes and in internships.


Diverse Young Women Traveling Pathways to STEM

Margaret Eisenhart
An outreach and research project combining delivery of an after-school program to spark high school girls' interest in engineering with a 7-year longitudinal study of the girls as they completed high school and moved on to college or work.


Educative Learning Progressions as Tools for Teacher Development (Elevate)

Erin Furtak
A five-year project engaging high school biology teachers from local schools in ongoing professional development centered on a learning progression for natural selection.


El Pueblo Mágico After-School Program

Kris Gutiérrez
This University/School/Community partnership involves providing undergraduate students who aspire to be elementary school teachers the opportunity to learn more about STEM practices that promote student learning as they participate with local elementary school children in a designed learning environment called El Pueblo Mágico (“The Magical Community”). In this program, second to fifth graders and CU undergraduate and graduate students together engage in meaningful and complex learning activity that utilizes play, imagination, technology, and rich problem-solving and language tools all oriented toward STEM-related learning. For example, on any given day a visitor to El Pueblo would see CU children and undergraduates collaborating in a technology-rich environment to develop computational thinking skills, STEM-oriented making and tinkering activities, new media literacy practices such as digital storytelling, as well as opportunities to participate in gaming activities such as chess and in social media practices designed for youth. With regular access to the mentorship of undergraduate and graduate student partners, children engage in long-term projects in which they have opportunities to develop problem-solving skills, investigate scientific and health-related topics, and gain expertise as designers in cyber environments. The program currently enrolls approximately 120-150 children in under-resourced schools and 50 undergraduate practicum students each semester, while working to expand across university sites and the state of Colorado.


High School Opportunity Structures, Figured Worlds of STEM, and Choice of Major and College Destination

Margaret Eisenhart
Longitudinal study of (1) the opportunities for high school students to pursue STEM interests in 4 Denver-are high schools; (2) the meanings that these students and their parents give to STEM interests and pursuits; and (3) the students' choice of college and major post-high school graduation.


Learning in the Food Movement

Susan JurowKevin O’Connor
This project is situated in a Denver neighborhood characterized as “food insecure.” We have been invited by local non-profit to provide professional development for community leaders invested in changing the health, educational, and economic outcomes for the neighborhood.


Project-Based Inquiry Science Efficacy Study

Bill Penuel
Funded by the National Science Foundation, this study is examining the efficacy of the benefits of PBIS for supporting science teaching and students' science learning.



Science Discovery

A science education outreach program of the University of Colorado, Boulder’s Division of Continuing Education, connecting K-12 teachers and students to current CU science since 1983.


Streamline to Mastery (StM)

Valerie Otero
The Streamline to Mastery program is a partnership between the University of Colorado Boulder and science teachers in the North Denver Metro area. StM is part of the Noyce program at CU and addresses the needs of current teachers, recognizing that teacher development is an ongoing process.



Bill Penuel
This project aims to understand how, when, where, why and with whom children access and use STEM resources in their daily lives.


Virtual Teacher Learning Community (vTLC)

Erin Furtak
A project connecting high school science teachers in rural communities to each other using video conferencing tools.