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Institutional Transformation

Institutional Transformation

Our Institutional Transformation research investigates how organizations, structures, systems, and norms adapt to improve STEM learning practices and outcomes, including broadening participation in STEM through improved equity and inclusion.

Teaching for PROWESS

2020 - 2025

Teaching for PROWESS aims to increase access and success for community college students in mathematics courses on the STEM pathway. Guided by the IMPACT: Improving Mathematical Prowess and College Teaching document (American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges, 2018), the project will convene teams from eight community colleges mathematics departments to transform the teaching and learning of mathematics at both the classroom and department levels. This project is guided by a definition of active learning in mathematics (ALM) as described by Laursen and Rasmussen (2019); active learning in mathematics is grounded on four principles: (1) students’ deep engagement in mathematical thinking; (2) instructors’ interest in and use of student thinking; (3) student-to-student interaction; and (4) instructors’ attention to equitable and inclusive practices.

Revealing Progress toward Promotion and Tenure Reform in the Academy

2018 - 2020

The Revealing Progress toward Promotion and Tenure Reform in the Academy project assumes that the current academic system of reward and professional advancement: a) does not live up to current university values and fails to support improvements in teaching, engagement, innovation, inclusivity, convergence research and team science; and b) can be improved and is already being improved through disruptive actions by champions of change.


2018 - 2023

The ARIS Center is a collaboration between 12 universities launched in September 2018 with an award from the National Science Foundation (OIA 1810732) and a mission to Advance Research Impacts in Society through four initiatives: building capacity; advancing scholarship; growing partnerships; and curating resources. Dr. Julie Risien leads the OSU arm of ARIS and oversees the advancing scholarship initiative of the ARIS Center.

Grounding Institutional Partnerships in Structures for Broader Impacts Design (BID)

2017 - 2022

Higher education institutions and informal science education centers share a common interest in lowering the barriers that separate science and the public. These groups desire tools and strategies for developing mutually beneficial relationships to work together towards this common interest. In this Broader Impacts Design (BID) project, the Center developed and tested a conceptual framework to guide informal science education organizations, higher education institutions and other community-based partners in creating enduring partnerships that support public engagement with science. This framework includes recommendations for the structure and function of the partnerships, as well as tools and resources that enable these institutions to work together effectively.

Landscape Overview of University Systems and People Supporting Scientists in their Public Engagement Efforts

2017 - 2018

This study was commissioned by the Rita Allen Foundation to support a national-scale initiative to support scientists in their public engagement efforts.

CAISE Evaluation

2016 - 2021

The Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) is a resource center funded through a cooperative agreement with the NSF Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) Program. The current period of funding builds on the work of CAISE since it began in 2007 to provide support to professional audiences in informal STEM learning (ISL) including professionals working in science centers and museums, zoos and aquariums, parks and botanical gardens, nature centers, events and festivals, libraries, making and tinkering spaces, media, digital learning environments, youth and out-of-school time programs, and community programs.

STEM Matters: Investigating the Confluence of Visitor and Institutional Agendas

2016 - 2021

Led by Dr. Kelly Riedinger and Dr. Martin Storksdieck with assistance from Kimberley Preston Victoria Bonebrake, Nicolette Canzoneri, and Kevin Keys OSU’s STEM Research Center partnered with two other research organizations, Knology (formerly New Knowledge Organization Ltd. and COSI’s Center for Research and Evaluation on the NSF grant STEM Matters: Investigating the Confluence of Visitor and Institutional Agendas also referred to in the zoo and aquarium field as the Why Zoos and Aquariums Matter (WZAM) project.

AAAS Science of Team Science

2016 - 2018

AAAS Science of Team Science was led by Lou Woodley with support from Martin Storksdieck, the STEM Research Center and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). They partnered to develop a research program that examined the processes by which scientific teams organize, communicate, and collaborate through online platforms, namely the AAAS Trellis site.

Corvallis School District Tablet Evaluation


The Corvallis School District has introduced about 4,000 tablet computers into classrooms with the intent to provide students with access to personal devices and digital resources to support their learning. The implementation of the “tablet program” began in 2012 with the goal of connecting every student to a deeper and more personalized learning experience with instructional technology. The Corvallis School District and the STEM Research Center (Leads: Martin Storksdieck and Nancee Hunter) collaborated on a flexible and responsive research and evaluation process to analyze this effort.

Collaborative Research: An Evidence-based Informal STEM Learning (ISL) Professional Framework

2015 - 2019

The Collaborative Research: An Evidence-based Informal STEM Learning (ISL) Professional Framework project focused on developing a Professional Framework for the field of informal STEM learning (ISL). The project addressed two current and pressing issues: (1) Ensuring that ISL professionals have the necessary knowledge and skills to apply the substantial and growing evidence base in ISL in order to effectively engage the public in STEM, and (2) Understanding and supporting the needs of the full range of ISL professionals during their basic education and at particular points throughout their careers. These two issues are linked.

Shifting Departmental Culture to Re-Situate Learning and Instruction

2015 - 2020

Led by PI Jim Sweeney and Co-PIs Devlin Montfort, Milo Koretsky, Michelle Bothwell, and Sue Nolen, the purpose of this project is to make bold and deliberate changes to the educational environment and practices in the School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University. The project team is redesigning the curriculum and investing in extensive faculty training to reshape the School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering into a warm, welcoming environment that helps students build strong ties between the content in the classroom and the rest of their lives. The graduates will be dramatically better prepared to apply their knowledge to whatever new and unpredictable challenges face our society in the years to come.

AISL Framework

2015 - 2020

The AISL Framework project centered on the creation and validation of a theoretically grounded and empirically derived Framework for professional growth and learning within the informal STEM learning (ISL) field.

Equity Pathways in Informal Science Learning Environments

2015 - 2016

In collaboration with King's College London and Michigan State University, Oregon State University's Lynn Dierking, with some support from Victoria Bonebrake, has conducted a Science Learning+ Initiative planning project funded by the Wellcome Trust. Called the “Youth Access & Equity Research & Practice Agenda in Informal Science Learning (ISL) Environments” project, or "Equity Pathways in ISL" for short, the project's focus is to establish a UK-US researcher/practitioner network in order to develop a "youth access & equity research & practice agenda” focused on youth ages 11-14, primarily living in under-resourced communities.