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PIRE: Crafting Optimal Learning in Science Environments
The PIRE award aims to enhance secondary science teachers' skills in promoting engaging activities in classrooms. Recently, both the US and Finland have developed new science standards that stress the value of instructional activities that are interesting, challenging, and relevant to students' lives and futures. Of particular interest are the classroom messages and instructional tasks in classrooms that have discouraged women, underrepresented minorities, and individuals with special needs from pursuing careers in STEM fields. This project is a collaboration between researchers and teachers in the US and Finland that: 1) measures the academic, social, and emotional learning of students in secondary science classes; 2) investigates the effect of the implementation of a new form of science instruction modeled after the new Next Generation Science Standards; and 3) creates an integrated exchange program between the US and Finland for students, teachers, teacher educators, researchers, and policy leaders to foster the professional development of science teachers and improvement of teacher education programs.

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