EDC-Led Symposium Explores Role of Digital Games in Early Learning

Naomi Hupert

EDC Research Scientist Naomi Hupert (at left) led a symposium, “Designing Educational Games for Early Learners,” that examined the benefits and challenges of using digital games to support preschool children’s learning. Held at the annual Games+Learning+Society (GLS12) Conference in Madison, Wisconsin—the leading forum focused on videogames and learning in the U.S.—the symposium featured Jillian Orr of WGBH, Camellia Sanford of Rockman et al, and Phil Vahey of SRI Education.

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Cracking the Code: Giving More Students Access to Computer Science

This article highlights the work of the EDC-led Massachusetts Computing Attainment Network (MassCAN) and quotes EDC's Jim Stanton: "Jim Stanton, Executive Director of MassCAN and Senior Project Director at the Massachusetts-based EDC, emphasized the importance of getting all stakeholders involved to provide students with what he termed 'indispensable skills in all industries and careers, nationally and globally.' He stressed the need for every student to gain these essential 21st century skills, warning that in the current workforce, 82 percent of those with CS qualifications are male, and 83 percent are White or Asian. That is not a sustainable model for filling all the necessary jobs requiring CS, and thus we need more young women and historically underrepresented groups taking CS."


American Youth Policy Forum

Publication Date: 

Mon, 07/25/2016

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Tracy McMahon

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Tracy McMahon

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Tracy McMahon brings extensive expertise in designing and conducting quantitative and qualitative research and evaluation studies. She specializes in survey design and implementation; qualitative data collection techniques such as interviews, focus groups, and observations; the development of logic models and literature reviews; and statistical analysis. Much of her work focuses on the implementation of program evaluations that seek to identify the effectiveness of formal and informal science education programs at K-12 and institute of higher education (IHE) levels. (Read her blog post "Resources to Help Parents Support Kids' STEM Interests and Explorations.")
Recently, McMahon co-authored the report Engineering for Every K-12 Student based on her team's work on the Massachusetts Engineering Innovation and Dissemination Community (MEIDC), an NSF-funded landscape study of K-12 engineering education in Mass. For the past four years, she has supported the NSF Broadening Participation in Computing Alliances (BPC-A) Evaluation as liaison to alliances and collected, analyzed, and reported data on efforts to broaden participation in computer science.
She holds an MEd in Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation; an MA in Higher Education Administration; and a BA in Communication and Sociology from Boston College.


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Research Associate


Pathways to College and Careers

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43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313



Partnership Building As a Broadening Participation Strategy: Helping Researchers and Developers Bridge the Gaps in STEM Education

Fri, 04/29/2016


This brief examines the continued underrepresentation of African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and women of all racial and ethnic backgrounds in STEM fields; explains the benefits of collaboration around broadening participation; and offers guidance on building partnerships as a strategy for bridging the gaps in STEM education.

Partnership building as a broadening participation strategy


9 pp.

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Gimme an "E"

Sun, 05/01/2016


This chapter, first published as an article in Science and Children, reveals the successful strategies used by preschool teachers in Hartford, CT, that effectively supported young children’s physical science and engineering learning. Children naturally engineer things every day, from sand castles to block towers and paper bridges. They learn through trial and error what materials will work in their projects. It is the perfect opportunity to use children’s natural instincts to help them learn real scientific and engineering principles.

Bringing STEM to the Elementary Classroom


8 pp

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Mass Has New K-12 Standards for Digital Literacy, Computer Science

This article announces the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education's unanimous approval of new digital literacy and computer science standards developed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education in collaboration with key EDC staff that lead the Massachusetts Computing Attainment Network (MassCAN) and with significant input from a Review Panel of educators and industry representatives that helped guide and inform the work. The author calls out one of EDC's exciting computer science education initiatives: "The department is also partnering with the Education Development Center, MassCAN's lead partner, on a $2.1 million, three-year National Science Foundation grant, intended to develop elementary curriculum units that integrate computational thinking in math and science classes. One feature of the new standards is that they're aligned with existing state standards in English language arts, science and math."



Publication Date: 

Wed, 06/29/2016

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Elevating and Enhancing the “E” in STEM Education


Catherine McCulloch leads national initiatives focused on bridging STEM research and practice to improve outcomes for students. She is the co-Principal Investigator (co-PI) of Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education (CADRE) and STEM Smart, and project director for EDC’s Interactive STEM R+P Collaboratory team. As co-PI of the Massachusetts Engineering and Innovation Dissemination Community initiative, she recently concluded a landscape analysis of K-12 engineering education in Massachusetts with PI Darryl Williams of Tufts University and EDC colleagues Tracy McMahon and Leslie Goodyear. A new report by the team, Engineering for Every K–12 Student, presents key findings from the study that have important implications not just for Mass. K–20 educators, policymakers, and business and industry leaders, but for all of those who are interested or involved in expanding access to engineering education nationwide. In this post, Catherine reflects on the status of engineering education and shares a few key takeaways from the report.

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