AERA Showcases Research Improving Science Education at CNSF Exhibition on Capitol Hill
AERA Showcases Research Improving Science Education at CNSF Exhibition on Capitol Hill

May 2018 

AERA member Melissa L. Luna, Assistant Professor of Science Education at West Virginia University, participated in the 24th Annual Exhibition of the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) on May 9. The yearly event is a major showcase of research and education projects supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

More than 35 projects accomplished through NSF grants were on display at the exhibition titled “Investments in Scientific and Educational Research: Fueling American Innovation.” AERA’s exhibit booth featured Luna’s research on how fifth grade teachers notice science thinking among students in rural and semi-rural schools.

AERA Member Melissa L. Luna

Luna’s project, “Teachers’ Knowledge of Noticing Appalachian Students’ Thinking in Science,” was one of five featured exhibits highlighting some of the most groundbreaking and relevant topics affecting Americans today. Her exhibit included web-based interactive instructional materials used to guide teachers’ knowledge of noticing science, and show how teachers recognize student thinking in science and practice.
Luna’s research was conducted in an elementary school serving diverse Appalachian student populations in West Virginia, where students significantly underperformed nationally in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics areas across grades levels. Approximately 3,800 minutes of video footage were collected from teachers who were asked to actively notice their students’ thinking across the work of teaching science while utilizing wearable video technology. 


Recording Devices Used to Capture
Video Footage for the Project

Luna noted that the simple process of talking about the project led teachers to spend more time on teaching science.
In addition to presenting her research at the exhibition, Luna visited staff of congressional offices in the West Virginia delegation, including Sen. Joe Manchin (D), Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R), Rep. Evan Jenkins (R), and Rep. David McKinley (R). Luna discussed the importance of increasing federal investment in education research and in the social and behavioral sciences more broadly.
Other social and behavioral science associations participating in the exhibition included the American Psychological Association, American Sociological Association, Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences, and Society for Research in Child Development, among others.

Click here to see a short video of scientists sharing their research at the exhibition courtesy of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).