News

Read the latest and archived news stories about the Concord Consortium's activities and staff.

The Cryptic Case of the Coded Fair

Concord Consortium President Emeritus Bob Tinker, his wife Barbara and former member of the board Penny Noyce have authored a book in the Galactic Academy of Science series. The Cryptic Case of the Coded Fair teaches middle school students about encryption while telling a fun and exciting story of history and adventure.

Two Google Summer of Coders

Two international students will spend the summer coding for our open source projects. Through Google Summer of Code™ (GSoC), they’ll earn stipends from Google, plus get a coveted GSoC t-shirt and certificate. Concord Consortium developers will provide mentorship.

A New Take on Student Lab Reports

The March issue of The Science Teacher features "A New Take on Student Lab Reports" by Ed Hazzard, which describes how students can use screencasts – digital recordings of the computer screen plus audio narration – to report on their computer-based science labs, as an alternative to written reports. This could be an exciting new tool for science teaching.

$2.9 Million Grant to Develop New Generation of Classroom Assessments

The University of Illinois at Chicago, Michigan State University, SRI International, and the Concord Consortium have been awarded a $2.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a new system of classroom assessments that aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

E-Books for Online Teaching

Are you teaching online this year? Learn how to design your own online course and facilitate deep discussions. Two popular books on online teaching and learning are now available as e-Books.

Bright Ideas Photo Contest

Win a Concord Consortium t-shirt by entering your photo with our logo as you discover the wonders of nature, visit engineering feats of grandeur and explore science and math on your summer vacation.

Welcome to Our Three Google Summer of Code Students

Three international students will spend the summer coding for our open source projects. Through Google Summer of Code (GSoC), they’ll earn stipends from Google, plus get a coveted GSoC t-shirt and certificate.

Evolution is a Model, Why Not Teach It That Way?

Paul Horwitz has written a chapter of the book "Multiple Representations in Biological Education," edited by David F. Treagust and Chi-Yan Tsui, and published by Springer Verlag. The chapter, entitled "Evolution is a model, why not teach it that way?," describes our Evolution Readiness learning activities and research about their use with fourth grade students.

Deep Space Detectives

Read "Deep Space Detectives" in the February issue of The Science Teacher. The article by Amy Pallant, Dan Damelin and Sarah Pryputniewicz describes the High-Adventure Science "Is there life in space?" investigation, which helps students consider the probability of finding extraterrestrial life by using the same modern tools used by scientists.

SmartGraphs Success

Our SmartGraphs project team conducted additional experimental research this fall. Nearly three dozen eighth and ninth grade physical science teachers in Pennsylvania used SmartGraphs activities with 75 different classes. One finding that has emerged quickly is that teachers were very satisfied with the online activities.

Innovator Interview: Pendred Noyce

Dr. Pendred "Penny" Noyce served on Concord Consortium's Board of Directors from 1997 to 2012. She was instrumental in launching the Virtual High School as an independent nonprofit and became chair of our board in 2008 to lead the presidential search committee.

Molecular Workbench and the Rise of the MOOC

MOOCs are all the rage. However, don't worry if you don't recognize the acronym. It popped up only last fall, when Stanford offered—free of charge—a graduate-level course in artificial intelligence. Over 160,000 students from 190 countries signed up, defining what is quickly becoming a new genre in online education: the Massive Open Online Course or MOOC.

Modeling Earth's Climate

What might the climate of the future be like? Students explore this question in the High-Adventure Science curriculum unit "Modeling Earth's Climate." And in the October issue of The Science Teacher, Amy Pallant, Hee-Sun Lee, and Sarah Pryputniewicz describe the systems approach to the curriculum.

Big Ideas for Little People

Cynthia McIntyre, Trudi Lord and Paul Horwitz describe the Evolution Readiness curriculum in the October issue of Science & Children, which focuses on hard-to-teach concepts. The computer-based and hands-on activities help fourth grade students learn the big ideas of evolution.

Energy2D Version 1.0 Now Available

Energy2D, an open-source, interactive energy simulation tool, is now available for free download. Install  the first stable version of  Energy2D as a desktop app and create high-quality simulations that run in Web browsers for heat transfer, fluid dynamics, geoscience and more.

iPad Winner from Cork, Ireland

Congratulations to Siubhan F. of Cork, Ireland! She's the winner of a new iPad for participating in our website survey. Siubhan told us how she learned of the Concord Consortium when she was on her Transition Year Work Experience at the Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork.

Transforming Schools with Technology

Andy Zucker argues that we must transform schools to make them more engaging and effective. In "Using Digital Tools to Help Transform Schools" in the spring 2012 issue of AdvancED Source, Zucker notes that digital tools serve as an important means, not an end to transformation.

Concord Consortium Wins SBANE Innovation Award

We're delighted to announce that we were awarded a Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) Innovation award. The Concord Consortium was selected from 268 innovative companies and joins the "Circle of Excellence" with past winners, including Staples, PictureTel, Ben & Jerry's, Brooks Automation, Direct Tire, Genzyme, Nantucket Nectars, Imagitas!, Aurora Imaging Technology, and iRobot.

Trusted Source Endorses Concord Consortium Research Results

The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), a federally funded organization that scans educational research for high-quality studies, recently reviewed our 2008 study of the Technology Enhanced Elementary and Middle School Science (TEEMSS) software and materials. The WWC reported, "TEEMSS was found to have potentially positive effects on general science achievement for elementary school students in grades 3–4."

Two Google Summer of Coders

Two international students will spend the summer coding for our open source projects. Through Google Summer of Code (GSoC), they’ll earn stipends from Google, plus get a coveted GSoC t-shirt and certificate. Concord Consortium developers will provide mentorship.

Interactive Heat Transfer Simulations for Everyone

Make heat flow and temperature change visible to your students with Charles Xie's new article in the April issue of The Physics Teacher. Heat transfer is widely taught, but there are many misconceptions around heat and temperature. Explore new interactive computer simulations that may help dispel misconceptions.

Take Our Survey and Win a New iPad

Tell us what brings you to our website and what you’d like to see here. Complete a brief survey and you'll be automatically enrolled in a drawing for the latest iPad (we hear rumors of a sweet new version coming out soon)!

Tools to Foster Critical Thinking and Argumentation

Amy Pallant, Sarah Pryputniewicz, and Hee-Sun Lee describe the High-Adventure Science investigations in the March issue of The Science Teacher. The investigations stimulate students to think critically in order to explore the evidence and discuss the issues of certainty with the models and data. High-Adventure Science has obtained impressive learning results where students showed significant improvement in their understanding of science content and argumentation skills.

SmartGraphs

Try a series of position-time and velocity-time SmartGraphs, and get "smart" hints and feedback as you learn about motion, acceleration due to gravity, and more.

Electrify Your Classroom

Are you an engineering or electronics teacher? If so, we want you—and your students! Students can practice their skills measuring and troubleshooting virtual circuits. Teachers get detailed reports on student performance. Want to light a fire under your students' electronics learning? Try SPARKS!

Dorsey to Speak at Cyberlearning Summit

Chad Dorsey will present the Concord Consortium’s vision of a Deeply Digital Education with a featured presentation on Wednesday, January 18, at 3:45 p.m.

Google Awards the Concord Consortium Multi-Million Dollar Grant

The Concord Consortium has received a $2.5 million grant from Google.org to pave the way for digital curricula that model the "textbook of tomorrow."

New Book on Formative Assessment

Harvard Education Press has just published a new book, New Frontiers in Formative Assessment, featuring chapters by Dan Damelin, Kimberle Koile, and Paul Horwitz.The book is edited by Concord Consortium board member Pendred Noyce and her colleague Daniel Hickey.

Full-time Opening for Software Developer

We have an exciting full-time opening for a Software Developer ready to create rich open source HTML5 applications for students and teachers.

Free Download of Fall @Concord Now Available

The Fall 2011 @Concord is now available for download.

30th Anniversary of Probes

In 1981, Bob Tinker designed the first microcomputer-based real-time temperature data grapher for education. And an industry was born. We continue to research and develop probeware and its educational applications.

The Concord Consortium is Advancing the STEM Agenda

Carolyn Staudt presents Concord Consortium's science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) projects at the 2011 Massachusetts STEM Summit, "Advancing the STEM Agenda Locally & Nationally," on October 18 at the Boston Marriott in Newton.

Excellence in Action National Summit

Concord Consortium President Chad Dorsey and Board Member Lev Sviridov will participate in the 2011 Excellence in Action National Summit on Education Reform at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco on October 13-14.

Bob Tinker, Featured Speaker at California STEM Summit

Concord Consortium founder Bob Tinker will be a featured speaker at the California STEM Summit "Sparking Innovation in STEM," held at UC Davis on October 10 and 11. Bob will describe a deeply digital future using Concord Consortium activities and resources.

Digital Games and the New Science Classroom

“Video games can unleash a learning revolution,” reports the Boston Globe. We agree. That’s why since 1994 we’ve been producing interactive digital activities—like our SPORE award-winning Molecular Workbench—in science and math for grades 4 and up. We’re tapping into the spirit of games to engage learners. And we’re excited to announce that we’ve just been awarded a new grant from the National Science Foundation. GeniGames will add game-based design elements to our Geniverse software. Students can learn about genetics by solving games of dragons and drakes.

Innovator Interview: Dan Damelin

An interview with the Concord Consortium's Dan Damelin.

Deeply Digital Materials Help Students at Innovative New School

In a project sponsored by the Noyce Foundation, teachers at an innovative new high school will adopt and modify our probe- and model-based science activities. Schools for the Future Academy opened this month in Jacksonville, Florida, serving students who are behind academically.

Zucker Says U.S. Department of Education's Policy Misguided

Senior Research Scientist Andy Zucker comments on the U.S. Department of Education's "misguided" and "irrational" policy requiring security screenings of education researchers working under contract. Sociological and psychological research sheds light on people’s behavior when faced with requirements such as these screenings.

Innovator Interview: Charles Xie

An interview with Charles Xie, creator of the Molecular Workbench software.

New Book on Modeling Features Molecular Workbench

Springer has just published a new book, Models and Modeling: Cognitive Tools for Scientific Enquiry with a chapter by Charles Xie and Amy Pallant. “The Molecular Workbench Software: An Innovative Dynamic Modeling Tool for Nanonscience Education“ demonstrates how dynamic modeling of nanoscale phenomena based on first principles provides a direct approach to making nanoscience more accessible and teachable in the classroom.

The Molecular Workbench Earns Prestigious Science Award

Molecular Workbench was awarded a Science Prize for Online Resources in Education. SPORE has been established by the American Association for the Advancement of Science to "encourage innovation and excellence in education, as well as to encourage the use of high-quality on-line resources by students, teachers, and the public."

Infrared Magician's Work Featured in Journal of Chemical Education

The Journal of Chemical Education selected Concord Consortium's "IR magician" Dr. Charles Xie's paper titled "Visualizing Chemistry with Infrared Imaging" as the cover article of the July 2011 issue. 

Transforming Schools: Is It Rocket Science?

Concord Consortium's senior research scientist Andy Zucker says that improving education is not rocket science – it's much harder than that!

Thumbs Up to Spotlight on Technology in Education

Andy Zucker, author of Transforming Schools with Technology: How Smart Use of Digital Tools Helps Achieve Six Key Education Goals and a senior research scientist at the Concord Consortium, gives a thumbs up to Spotlight in Technology in Education.

Concord Consortium Research Results Shed Light on Evolution Learning and Scientific Argumentation

Our High-Adventure Science research characterizes uncertainty associated with middle school students’ scientific arguments. Read paper presented at the April meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST). Our Evolution Readiness project presented Getting Kids to Understand Evolution: First-Year Implementation Results at the April conference of the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

Students Engineer Energy-Efficient Houses

Over 90 ninth grade students pilot tested our Engineering Energy Efficiency curriculum in a Massachusetts school in March. They built standard model houses, learned about conduction, convection, and radiation using probes and Energy2D simulations, then designed their own model houses. 

Innovator Interview: Paul Horwitz

An interview with Concord Consortium Senior Scientist Paul Horwitz.

Evolution Readiness Symposium Featured at NEERO

Paul Horwitz, Trudi Lord, and Cynthia McIntyre present the Evolution Readiness curriculum at the New England Educational Research Organization on April 28 at 10:15 a.m. in New Bedford, MA.

We're Presenting at AERA

Three sessions at the 2011 AERA (American Educational Research Association) Conference showcase the Concord Consortium's projects. Come learn about our Evolution Readiness and Universal Design for Learning projects.

See You at NARST

 Amy Pallant discusses the role of uncertainty in student scientific argumentation at the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST). Based on the High-Adventure Science project, which engages students in unanswered questions in science, she presents “Characterizing Uncertainty Associated with Middle School Students’ Scientific Arguments“ on Sunday, April 3, at 2:45 p.m. 

Free Download of Spring @Concord Now Available

Our Spring @Concord is available for download now.

Students Score Points with Virtual Resistors at Engineering Day

Over 100 high school students tried their hand with virtual breadboards at yesterday's Engineering Day at Tidewater Community College thanks to an electronics videogame developed by the SPARKS (Simulations for Performance Assessments that Report on Knowledge and Skills) project.

Games and Authentic Assessment Described by Paul Horwitz

Concord Consortium senior scientist Paul Horwitz describes games in the context of authentic assessment.

Obama Praises Educational Technology at School Piloting Geniverse

President Obama praised the virtues of educational technology during a March 8 visit to TechBoston Academy, one of six schools in the New England area piloting the Concord Consortium's Geniverse software.

NSTA Featured Speaker: Our President

The Concord Consortium President, Chad Dorsey, will give a featured presentation on the first morning of The National Science Teachers Association conference in San Francisco.

Education Week Evolution Commentary Continues Media Spotlight

The Concord Consortium's Paul Horwitz, director of the Evolution Readiness project, is a commentator for Education Week this week.

The Concord Consortium at NSTA 2011

The Concord Consortium will be attending and presenting at the NSTA conference in March 2011. We look forward to seeing you at our sessions. Add the following sessions to your conference schedule.

Meet Us at Cyberlearning Tools for STEM Education (CyTSE)

If you're heading to San Francisco for the CyTSE conference on March 8 and 9, look for Concord Consortium staff at the following presentations: Serious Games for STEM Learning, Learning From and With Data, The Molecular Workbench, Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry, and Inquiry in the Digital Age - Enhancing Science Learning using Computer Models.

Evolution Education in the News

The Concord Consortium's Paul Horwitz and Evolution Readiness advisory board member Louise Mead of the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action discuss “the evolution of teaching evolution“ in a February 7 article originally published in the Hechinger Report.

The Concord Consortium is One of Mashable's Favorite Online Resources

Mashable.com included the Concord Consortium's free, open source software on it's in its December 16th list of favorite online resources for science teachers.

Paul Horwitz Interviewed by ScienceLives

An interview with Concord Consortium senior scientist and former Congressional fellow Paul Horwitz is featured on LiveScience. Paul discusses the societal benefits of his work, what's needed to be an effective researcher, his favorite childhood experiment and the best piece of advice he ever received.

Mashable.com Features Concord Consortium Projects

Mashable.com features the Concord Consortium's projects as some of their 8 Ways Technology is Improving Education

Evolution Readiness Project in Education Week

Evolution Readiness is featured in Education Week's November 16 article "Efforts to Improve Evolution Teaching Bearing Fruit".

Get the Fall Issue of @Concord

The new issue of @Concord includes articles on the PCAST report, fourth grade students learning about evolution, quantum chemistry activities, IR imaging technology, UDL, and more.

Open House October 28, 2010

Join the Concord Consortium for our 2010 Open House Thursday, October 28 from 7:00 to 9:30 PM. Take part in a discussion about the future of deeply digital curriculum with a distinguished panel, including representatives from Wireless Generation, CK-12 Foundation, Pearson Education, and OpenAirBoston. The evening will also include opportunities to talk with Concord Consortium innovators and explore our latest interactive software.

New Fantasy Adventure Book by Concord Consortium Board Member

Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Numbers is a fantasy adventure for students in grades 5-8, written by Concord Consortium board member, physician, and education reformer Pendred Noyce. In this first book in the Adventures in Lexicon series, cousins Ivan and Daphne travel through a magical land of words and numbers in search of the lost children of Lexicon, who have been lured away by mysterious lights in the sky.

NSTA Journal features GENIQUEST project

The GENIQUEST project has been featured in the October issue of the National Science Teachers Association's (NSTA) peer-reviewed journal for secondary science teachers, The Science Teacher. The article describes how the project uses a multi-layered genetics model to permit students to breed dragons and examine their genetics.

McGraw Prize awarded to Board member Larry Rosenstock

Concord Consortium board member Larry Rosenstock has received the prestigious 2010 Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education. Rosenstock is the CEO and founding principal of High Tech High (HTH), and received the Secondary Education prize for creating educational ideas that work and scaling them up to improve student achievement.

Get the Spring issue of @Concord

The new issue of @Concord includes articles on formative assessments in electronics, a new simulation for teaching and learning heat transfer, nanoscience and genetics education, and more.

Transforming Schools with Technology

Andy Zucker's article, "Transforming Schools with Technology," was featured in Independent School magazine. The special issue, focused on the theme of Teaching in a 2.0 World, won an award from the Association of Educational Publishers as the best single-theme issue of an education publication.

Article by Andy Zucker featured in Science Magazine

At the Denver School of Science and Technology, a public charter high school serving many students from low-income families, laptops are used by teachers and students in a variety of ways. About 30% of the graduating class takes an AP Physics exam, compared to only 3% nationally.

CC Announces New President

The Concord Consortium announced its new President, Chad Dorsey, at the meeting of its Board of Directors on October 28, 2008. "Chad was the unanimous choice of the Board and has its enthusiastic support," said Board Chairperson, Pendred Noyce.

Thank you for your feedback

Congratulations to Robert Ong of Nedlands, Australia! He is winner of a new iPod touch. Over 200 of you responded to our website survey. Your input will help us update our website to improve the ways you learn about and use our software and activities.

Log In

Don't have a profile?

Create a profile and...

Create your profile now »