Research Associate

The Concord Consortium, a nonprofit research and development organization dedicated to transforming STEM education through technology, is looking for a Research Associate specializing in STEM education, design-based research, and/or classroom-based research. The Research Associate will work either in our Emeryville, CA or Concord, MA, office with senior research personnel to coordinate and conduct research on learning in formal and informal settings. The Research Associate will contribute to research on novel learning materials design and middle and high school curriculum units that integrate modeling, sensor-based laboratories, performance assessments, and software to help students achieve a deeper understanding of core ideas in biological, physical, and Earth sciences. The Research Associate will also be involved in data collection and analysis and support evaluation of museum-based studies, teacher workshops, teacher preparation, and classroom enactments. The Research Associate will help study the impact and use of computationally enhanced craft materials, as well as coordinate field testing of technologically enhanced, NGSS-aligned curriculum and assessment materials in middle and high school classrooms. We’re looking for a team player who is excited to work in a stimulating, technology-rich environment to help make a difference in education.

This position will work on multi-year research projects that may include the following:

InSPECT – The InSPECT project will forge new directions in science learning by applying to science education a new generation of inexpensive technologies that will allow high school students to undertake authentic science investigations in biology. The project will use maker-oriented technologies and inexpensive smart interfaces to create systems that, like devices constituting the “Internet of Things,” have sensors, actuators, and connectivity. The project will develop curricular units for high school students to sense and control experiments in biology, much the way professional scientists do. The project will research the feasibility of this approach and resulting student gains in computational thinking, science practices, and core science content. It will also identify teacher supports needed for classroom implementation. Research will be conducted in collaboration with 26 teachers in diverse settings.

InquirySpace 2 – This project will develop technology, curricular, and educative teacher materials to support learning science by doing science. This project builds on prior work that has demonstrated the feasibility of using a sequence of physics activities that significantly improved students’ abilities to undertake data-based experiments and led to productive independent investigations. InquirySpace 2 will improve the physics sequence, extend the approach to biology and chemistry, and adapt the materials to the needs of diverse students by integrating tailored formative feedback in real time. The result will be student and teacher materials that any school can use to allow students to experience the excitement and essence of scientific investigations as an integral part of science instruction. The project plans to create and iteratively revise learning materials and technologies, which will be tested in 48 diverse classroom settings. The educational impact of the project’s approach will be compared with that of business-as-usual approaches used by teachers to investigate to what extent it empowers students to undertake self-directed experiments.

Paper Mechatronics – This project will create technology-enhanced craft materials for use with young children in informal learning environments and study adaptive expertise among children engaged in creative design tasks. This project builds on prior work that has demonstrated the feasibility of using paper mechatronic materials to engage and interest youth in making and engineering design using web-based parametric design software and papercrafts. The goals of the Paper Mechatronics project are to improve on-ramps to engineering design, to study how adaptive expertise can develop, and to extend paper mechatronics as a medium to support creativity. The result will be a kit, facilitation guides, and design tools that educators can use to support and engage interest in creative engineering design. The project plans to create and iteratively test materials with children at the San Francisco Children’s Creativity Museum in collaboration with developers at the Craft Technology Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Responsibilities

  • Be familiar with conducting design-based research in informal settings and K-12 classrooms
  • Conduct observations, interviews, and artifact analyses of student and teacher learning or parent-child interactions
  • Coordinate and work with teachers to implement our educational innovations
  • Participate in design, user testing, and research of curricular materials in the classroom and museum
  • Work effectively with a variety of staff, including curriculum developers, technology developers, assessment experts, and other staff across the organization
  • Manage classroom research data collection and student portfolios of work
  • Manage schedules and resources to meet strict project deadlines
  • Be willing to drive or commute to research data collection sites in the San Francisco Bay Area if based in the West Coast office or schools in the areas surrounding the Concord, MA, office if based on the East Coast
  • Create research posters, papers, and presentations for professional conferences

Qualifications

  • M.S. or Ph.D. in learning science, science education, educational research, assessment, and/or engineering education.
  • Undergraduate degree or beyond in one of the science or engineering disciplines such as biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, educational technology, education, or equivalent
  • Experience in conducting and managing classroom-based implementation studies
  • Experience managing, collecting, and coding both qualitative and quantitative research data
  • Extended experience and fluency with technology
  • Experience working with middle or high school students or youth
  • Good team player (willing to pitch in and do what needs to be done!)
  • Detail-oriented
  • Excellent communication and writing skills
  • Record of publications

This is a grant-funded, 100% FTE position. The successful candidate will be required to work on site in Emeryville, CA, or Concord, MA, and must be authorized to work in the United States.

The Concord Consortium offers a rich variety of benefits, including up to four weeks of vacation, medical and dental insurance, tuition reimbursement, a generous TIAA-CREF retirement plan, and life and long-term disability insurance. Our work environment is casual and stimulating. In general, we’re a creative, intelligent, happy bunch — check out our profiles.

To Apply

Please send your resume, cover letter, and a sample research paper to: hrjr+RA@concord.org

The Concord Consortium is committed to equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination for all employees and qualified applicants without regard to a person’s race, color, gender, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, or any characteristic protected under applicable law.