An Invitation to Schools to Participate in ESCOLAR Online Science Curriculum Research


Dr. Fatima Elvira Terrazas Arellanes, Research Assistant Professor in the Center for Equity Promotion at the University of Oregon’s College of Education, is nearing completion of a federally-funded research project that developed the online, media-rich ESCOLAR curriculum for middle school science.

This curriculum has been shown to be effective in significantly deepening students’ science knowledge.

The ESCOLAR project team is now applying for funds to conduct two new studies:

  • Developing an online science curriculum for elementary school

  • Field testing an onsite content server device for middle school

Oregon elementary and middle schools are invited to take part in these two new research opportunities. To learn more, read on!

Current Research: ESCOLAR Curriculum for Middle School Science

The current ESCOLAR research project has developed an online curriculum consisting of 15 discrete units that address all middle school Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This is an effective, stand-alone program that classroom teachers can use to teach science, and engage their students in project-based and hands-on learning.

The curriculum features embedded enrichment activities to promote science learning, such as simulations, games, lab experiments, scientific inquiries, and model making. Also included are formative and summative assessments to gauge student progress, as well as opportunities for meaningful dialog.

The science units are based on theoretical principles to maximize usability and effectiveness, and are enhanced with eText supports (such as text-to-speech, vocabulary definitions, enhanced illustrations, digital note-taking, and, enhanced videos) to make science learning accessible to students of all abilities.

To support classroom adoption of the curriculum, teachers can freely access helpful online resources, such as a training course, lesson plans, answer keys, and automatic quiz reports.

Future Research: Developing an ESCOLAR Curriculum for Elementary School Science

The ESCOLAR project team is applying for new federal funds to develop an online science curriculum for grades 3-5, extending the benefits of the middle school science curriculum to elementary school.

Oregon elementary schools are invited to participate in this new research.

If you are interested, please write a brief letter of support (like this) and email it to Dr. Terrazas Arellanes by June 20, 2019. Your letter of support will be an important part of the ESCOLAR project’s application for federal funding.

If the study is funded, the research will take place in academic years 2019-2020, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022. Participating schools will help develop and test the online elementary school science units—and may receive compensation for time and expenses incurred.

Download a sample letter of support (DOCX).

You may use this letter as-is, filling in the missing information, or make any changes.

Please email your signed letter to Dr. Terrazas Arellanes by June 20, 2019.

Your letter of support will be submitted along with the ESCOLAR project’s grant application to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs.

Future Research: Field Testing an Onsite Content Server Device for Middle School

The ESCOLAR project team has applied for funding from the University of Oregon to develop and test an onsite content server so that teachers and students can use the ESCOLAR science curriculum in the classroom without having to be connected to the Internet.

What is an Onsite Content Server?

The onsite content server is a small device that will plug into a school building LAN, and can be custom-modified to support a robust website-like platform without being connected to the Internet.

With the device, even the smallest rural schools can easily, reliably, and speedily access the full ESCOLAR science curriculum while avoiding Internet connectivity or bandwidth problems that typically require tech support from IT staff.

The device will also help schools control privacy issues related to student grading, without the exposure the Internet creates.

Oregon middle schools are invited to participate in this new research.

If you are interested, please fill out the form below. You will be contacted if the project is funded, and will be eligible to receive free use of an evaluation ESCOLAR onsite content server for at least one school term at no cost, subject to availability. Afterwards, you will be able to purchase an ESCOLAR onsite content server at a significant discount from the established price.

For more information, contact Paul Berger.