Science Foundation (science + foundation)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Kinds of Science Foundation

  • national science foundation

  • Selected Abstracts

    Behind the Findings: Yes, the Science Explorations Program Worked, but Why?

    Jill Florence Lackey
    In 2002, with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and private donors, MPM launched this after-school program for a target group of urban, mostly minority, middle school girls, a group at risk for underachievement in science and technology. The museum staff built a combined program with five middle schools and also sought to reach out to family members of the participating girls in order to increase support for the young women's science endeavors. A three-year evaluation of the Science Explorations program demonstrated positive findings from primarily quantitative data. An aim of this article is to present findings from the qualitative data to shed light on the reasons this program met nearly all of its targets. Findings from case studies and qualitative interviews suggest that the museum staff's efforts to demystify science,a process that provided ongoing access to real scientific endeavors and invited personal contact with scientists,influenced the program's success. Findings also suggest that strong school liaisons may help increase family support for young women's scientific pursuits, which can in turn play a role in their success in this program. [source]

    IRSS Psychology Theory: Telling Experiences Among Underrepresented IS Doctorates

    Fay Cobb Payton
    ABSTRACT With the changing demographics of the American workforce, the National Science Foundation, along with the U.S. Department of Commerce, has highlighted the shortage of minorities in information technology (IT) careers ( Using data from a 6-year period and the psychology Involvement-Regimen-Self Management-Social (IRSS) network theory as defined by Boice (1992), we discuss lessons learned from mentoring a group of Information Systems doctoral students who are members of a pipeline that can potentially increase the number of underrepresented faculty in business schools and who made conscious decisions to renounce the IT corporate domain. While our lessons speak to the need for more diversity awareness, we conclude that effective mentoring for underrepresented groups can and should include faculty of color (though limited in numbers) as well as majority faculty who are receptive to the needs and cultural differences of these student groups. Lastly, we draw on the work of Ethnic America to provide additional insight into our findings that are not offered by IRSS network theory. [source]

    Instructional Tools in Educational Measurement and Statistics (ITEMS) for School Personnel: Evaluation of Three Web-Based Training Modules

    Rebecca Zwick
    In the current No Child Left Behind era, K-12 teachers and principals are expected to have a sophisticated understanding of standardized test results, use them to improve instruction, and communicate them to others. The goal of our project, funded by the National Science Foundation, was to develop and evaluate three Web-based instructional modules in educational measurement and statistics to help school personnel acquire the "assessment literacy" required for these roles. Our first module, "What's the Score?" was administered in 2005 to 113 educators who also completed an assessment literacy quiz. Viewing the module had a small but statistically significant positive effect on quiz scores. Our second module, "What Test Scores Do and Don't Tell Us," administered in 2006 to 104 educators, was even more effective, primarily among teacher education students. In evaluating our third module, "What's the Difference?" we were able to recruit only 33 participants. Although those who saw the module before taking the quiz outperformed those who did not, results were not statistically significant. Now that the research phase is complete, all ITEMS instructional materials are freely available on our Website. [source]

    Experimental Research and the Managerial Attitude: a tension to be resolved?

    This article analyses some typical consequences of a specific research policy on experimental research in biology. The policy is conducted by a national funding agency , the Swiss National Science Foundation , through a particular programme, the ,National Centres of Competence in Research' which is designed to promote both ,scientific excellence'and,managerial professionalism'. To study the possible tension between the two objectives, as a practical matter for researchers, the proposed analysis focuses on the interaction between two laboratory scientists and the administrators of a genomic platform. Access to the instruments of this platform is granted through a preliminary interview with those in charge of the platform. During that interview, researchers are required to explain why they want to use the platform services and what their expectations concerning their envisaged activities are. A tape-recorded interview is analysed in order to describe how turns at talking by the various parties, as well as the formulation of the problems encountered by a researcher, prove category-bound. The first part of the meeting (,problem exposition') is structured by the categorical device ,generalist researcher vs. specialist researcher', whilst the second part (,problem solving') is organised by the categorical device ,manager vs. user of the platform'. The ,scientific' problem becomes a ,technical' one and the choice of technique is partly based on financial reasons. The situation shows how managerial injunctions of research policy are not without practical consequences for research activities in situ. [source]

    The ancestral complement system in sea urchins

    L. Courtney Smith
    Summary: The origin of adaptive immunity in the vertebrates can be traced to the appearance of the ancestral RAG genes in the ancestral jawed vertebrate; however, the innate immune system is more ancient. A central subsystem within innate immunity is the complement system, which has been identified throughout and seems to be restricted to the deuterostomes. The evolutionary history of complement can be traced from the sea urchins (members of the echinoderm phylum), which have a simplified system homologous to the alternative pathway, through the agnathans (hagfish and lamprey) and the elasmobranchs (sharks and rays) to the teleosts (bony fish) and tetrapods, with increases in the numbers of complement components and duplications in complement pathways. Increasing complexity in the complement system parallels increasing complexity in the deuterostome animals. This review focuses on the simplest of the complement systems that is present in the sea urchin. Two components have been identified that show significant homology to vertebrate C3 and factor B (Bf), called SpC3 and SpBf, respectively. Sequence analysis from both molecules reveals their ancestral characteristics. Immune challenge of sea urchins indicates that SpC3 is inducible and is present in coelomic fluid (the body fluids) in relatively high concentrations, while SpBf expression is constitutive and is present in much lower concentrations. Opsonization of foreign cells and particles followed by augmented uptake by phagocytic coelomocytes appears to be a central function for this simpler complement system and important for host defense in the sea urchin. These activities are similar to some of the functions of the homologous proteins in the vertebrate complement system. The selective advantage for the ancestral deuterostome may have been the amplification feedback loop that is still of central importance in the alternative pathway of complement in higher vertebrates. Feedback loop functions would quickly coat pathogens with complement leading to phagocytosis and removal of foreign cells, a system that would be significantly more effective than an opsonin that binds upon contact as a result of simple diffusion. An understanding of the immune response of the sea urchin, an animal that is a good estimator of what the ancestral deuterostome immune system was like, will aid us in understanding how adaptive immunity might have been selected for during the early evolution of the vertebrates and how it might have been integrated into the pre-existing innate immune system that was already in place in those animals. The authors are grateful to Drs Sham Nair and Paul Gross for their critique of the manuscript and helpful suggestions. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (MCB 9603086). [source]

    Regulation of IL-4 production in mast cells: a paradigm for cell-type-specific gene expression

    Deborah L. Weiss
    Summary: The role of interleukin (IL)-4 as an important immunomodulatory cytokine is well established. IL-4 exhibits a highly restricted pattern of expression by cells of distinct lineages. The cell types that produce IL-4 are located in anatomically distinct locations (e.g. circulating T cells vs. fixed tissue mast cells) and thus have access to different IL-4-responsive target cells. In addition, these cells appear to regulate IL-4 expression in cell-type-specific ways. These findings suggest that an understanding of IL-4 gene regulation in T and mast cells could provide the means to specifically control IL-4 release in a lineage- and site-specific manner. In this article we review the current knowledge regarding the cell-type specific regulation of IL-4 gene expression in mast cells and compare this to what has been defined in T cells. We show that there are distinct yet parallel events that control developmentally determined chromatin modifications, allowing accessibility of the locus, and provide the potential for transcription. In differentiated cells, a subset of unique cell activation signals initiates the cascade of events that lead to transcriptional activation of the IL-4 gene. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (DLW), the National Institutes of Health and the Multiple Sclerosis Society (MAB). We appreciate the technical and intellectual contributions of many colleagues including Doris Powell, John Hural, Tammy Nachman, Ben Hock, David Tara, Greg Henkel, Susan Lee, Millie Kwan, Melanie Sherman and Ginny Secor. [source]

    Attrition in nursing among Black and White nurses

    Fundamental to dealing with the problems associated with attracting and retaining nurses during a tight labour market are issues centreing upon attrition from the field. In the United States, attrition has become such a significant issue that efforts to attract individuals to the field and recruit them to positions in the health care industry are not adequate to offset the flow of individuals from the field, much less bring in the additional nurses who are needed for an ageing population with increasing health care needs. As an example of the seriousness of the problem, it is probably safe to say that of the students who graduate from nursing schools each year and who enter the field of nursing, a significant number will no longer be practicing after 5 years in the profession. In a high attrition environment, even if many individuals were entering nursing, these losses will potentially offset any gains that are made. From the perspective of this study, it is important to know what is leading nurses to leave their careers. Do all nurses face the same challenges in the course of their careers, or is the pattern of turnover somewhat different for different groups of nurses or those in different stages of their careers? In this study, we consider what career differences may exist between the two major groups of nurses in the USA today , Black and White nurses , and ask whether there are differences between the two groups in terms of ,whether' and ,why' they may be leaving the field. Our primary purpose was to determine if differences in attrition exist between Black and White nurses, and if so, where in the career process are those differences most pronounced. Based on our analysis of data from the National Science Foundation, we do find significant differences in patterns of attrition for the two groups and we suggest what we believe may be their implications for policy. [source]

    Self-definition of women experiencing a nontraditional graduate fellowship program,

    Gayle A. Buck
    Women continue to be underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). One factor contributing to this underrepresentation is the graduate school experience. Graduate programs in STEM fields are constructed around assumptions that ignore the reality of women's lives; however, emerging opportunities may lead to experiences that are more compatible for women. One such opportunity is the Graduate Teaching Fellows in K,12 Education (GK,12) Program, which was introduced by the National Science Foundation in 1999. Although this nontraditional graduate program was not designed explicitly for women, it provided an unprecedented context in which to research how changing some of the basic assumptions upon which a graduate school operates may impact women in science. This exploratory case study examines the self-definition of 8 women graduate students who participated in a GK,12 program at a major research university. The findings from this case study contribute to higher education's understanding of the terrain women graduate students in the STEM areas must navigate as they participate in programs that are thought to be more conducive to their modes of self-definition while they continue to seek to be successful in the historically Eurocentric, masculine STEM fields. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 43: 852,873, 2006 [source]

    Characteristics of professional development that effect change in secondary science teachers' classroom practices

    Bobby Jeanpierre
    We studied the outcome of a professional development opportunity that consisted of 2-week-long resident institutes for teams consisting of a secondary science teacher and two students. The science content of the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded professional development institute was monarch butterfly ecology. The first institute took place in Minnesota during the summer, and the second in Texas during the fall. Staff scientists provided intense instruction in inquiry, with numerous opportunities for participants to conduct short inquiry-based research projects. Careful attention was paid to introducing each step of the full inquiry process, from asking questions to presenting research findings. All participants conducted independent team full inquiry projects between the two institutes. Project findings show that the number of teachers providing opportunities for their students to conduct full inquiry increased significantly after their participation. A mixed-methodology analysis that included qualitative and quantitative data from numerous sources, and case studies of 20 teachers, revealed that the characteristics of the program that helped teachers successfully translate inquiry to their classrooms were: deep science content and process knowledge with numerous opportunities for practice; the requirement that teachers demonstrate competence in a tangible and assessable way; and providers with high expectations for learning and the capability to facilitate multifaceted inquiry experiences. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]

    A cultural perspective of the induction of five reform-minded beginning mathematics and science teachers

    J. Randy McGinnis
    The purpose of this empirical study was to present a detailed description and interpretation of what happens in schools to beginning teachers who are prepared to enact reform-based practices in mathematics and science. The focus was on a select sample of graduates from the Maryland Collaborative for Teacher Preparation [MCTP], a statewide reform-based undergraduate teacher preparation program funded by the National Science Foundation. Interpretative research methodology was used to conduct a cultural case study of the beginning teachers' first 2 years of practice (first year, N,=,5; second year, N,=,3). We documented differential experiences and perceptions of the beginning teachers from both inside (emic) and outside (etic) perspectives. Documented discussion centered on an analytical framework suggested elsewhere. Findings were framed in two components: the individual's intentions, needs, and capabilities; and the institutional demands, affordances, and constraints. The major insight was that the beginning teachers' perception of their school culture was a major factor in whether reform-aligned mathematics and science teaching was regularly implemented by the beginning teachers. In instances where the beginning teachers' perceived that their school cultures offered a lack of support for their intent to implement reform-based practices the beginning teachers exhibited differing social strategies (resistance, moving on, and exit). Therefore, to sustain reform (and, by extension, to retain beginning mathematics and science teachers), a key implication is to place additional attention on the use of the school culture perspective to improve teacher preparation and induction experiences. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 41: 720,747, 2004 [source]

    Riding natural scientists' coattails onto the endless frontier: The SSRC and the quest for scientific legitimacy

    Mark Solovey
    This article proposes that the postwar National Science Foundation (NSF) debate constituted a critical, transitional episode in American social science and partisan politics. I show that by responding to powerful conservative critics in the scientific and political communities, the Social Science Research Council's (SSRC's) leading scholars (re)asserted a contested scientistic strategy,to advance the social sciences by following the natural sciences. Further, I reconstruct a wider and longer framework of analysis in order to recover central challenges to the scientistic strategy raised by prominent liberal scholars who rejected the associated commitments to value neutrality and disinterested professionalism. In developing this framework for understanding the contrasting fortunes of each strategy, this article argues that the NSF debate has a deep historical significance,for the social sciences, for American liberalism, and for the nation. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]

    Advanced Technology Solar Telescope: A status report

    S.L. Keil
    Abstract Magnetic fields control the inconstant Sun. The key to understanding solar variability and its direct impact on the Earth rests with understanding all aspects of these magnetic fields. The Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) has been design specifically for magnetic remote sensing. Its collecting area, spatial resolution, scattered light, polarization properties, and wavelength performance all insure ATST will be able to observe magnetic fields at all heights in the solar atmosphere from photosphere to corona. After several years of design efforts, ATST has been approved by the U.S. National Science Foundation to begin construction with a not to exceed cost cap of approximately $298M. Work packages for major telescope components will be released for bid over the next several months. An application for a building permit has been submitted (© 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

    Immune responses to gene therapy vectors in the context of corneal transplantation

    Purpose The genetic engineering of grafts or cells prior to transplantation is an attractive approach to protect the graft from allogeneic rejection. Virus vector-based gene therapy is a promising method for successful ex-vivo gene transfer however, the induction of an immune response against gene-modified tissues raises concern. Methods Different virus families (Adenovirus, Retrovirus, Adeno-associated virus, Herpesvirus) have been studied as gene therapy vehicles for the delivery of therapeutic molecules. Moreover, different serotypes or envelope proteins have been used to modulate transduction efficiencies of target cells or to evade pre-existing immunity. Results Here we review gene therapeutic applications using viral vectors in the context of cornea transplantation. Both local and systemic expression of immunomodulatory molecules have led to the prevention of corneal graft rejection. However, different results have been obtained with regard to the induction of immune responses after local or systemic expression of the gene therapy vector. Not surprisingly over-expression of anti-inflammatory molecules not only modulated allograft rejection but also influenced the immune response against the viral vector and virally transduced cells. Conclusion Recent clinical trials indicate that the application of viral vectors in ophthalmology is promising however, the generation of immune responses against the viral vector or virally transduced cells are still a serious obstacle for a broader application of gene therapy. Supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG Pl 150/14-1 and Ri 764/10-1) and Science Foundation of Ireland (SFI 06/RFP/BIC056 and SFI 07/IN.1/B925) [source]

    National Science Foundation Graduate Teaching Fellows Promote Food Science Education in K-12 Schools in Maine

    B. Calder
    ABSTRACT: The Univ. of Maine is participating in the National Science Foundation's (NSF) GK-12 Teaching Fellows program. Between 2000 and 2003, 4 food science graduate students demonstrated food- and nutrition-related science lessons, among other innovative activities. This article includes details of an activity on natural dyes to help students understand plant pigments. Assessment of the NSF GK-12 program is ongoing both locally and nationally. NSF's goals are being met, including one of the most important, which is the effect of NSF Fellows as role models on K-12 students. [source]

    Naturwissenschafts-, Technik- und Medizingeschichte in Deutschland, 1997,2004.

    Literaturbericht über die Forschung an den Institutionen.
    Diese Bibliographie der naturwissenschafts-, technik- und medizingeschichtlichen Forschungsliteratur für die Erscheinungsjahre 1997 bis 2004 setzt die vorangegangenen Übersichten fort. Sie beinhaltet die seit 1997 erschienene Literatur und beruht wiederum auf der Nennung durch die Institutionen selbst, allerdings auf Wunsch des Deutschen Nationalkomitees der IUHPS/DHS beschränkt auf zehn Angaben pro Wissenschaftler(in). Einige Einrichtungen haben zudem auf ihre jeweilige Homepage verwiesen. Auch die persönlichen Homepages der einzelnen Forscher(innen) sind für weitere Literatur-Angaben heranzuziehen. Die Reihenfolge der Autor(inn)en ist am Alphabet der Namen orientiert und nicht mehr an dem der Institutionen. Die Kodierung hinter dem Namen ordnet die Institution zu. Ein systematischer Überblick findet sich im Anschluß an diesen Hinweis. Länger als vorgesehen dauert der Aufbau einer elektronischen Datenbank für die hier angesprochenen Wissenschaftsfelder. Hierin liegt auch der Grund für die rückwärtige Aufnahme bis zum Jahr 1997, da es zu dem bis dahin vorgesehenen Start der Datenbank schon nicht gekommen war. Die zukünftigen Datenbanken sollen in Dresden (für die Technikgeschichte), in München (für die Naturwissenschaftsgeschichte) und in Leipzig (für die Medizingeschichte) entstehen, doch haben sich trotz der abermals dankbar entgegengenommenen Hilfe der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) für diesen hier vorgestellten Überblick die sich für zuständig haltenden Bundesländer bislang ihren Verpflichtungen zu einem solchen Basisprojekt der Literaturrecherche weitgehend entzogen. Die , in mehrfacher Hinsicht betroffenen , Wissenschaftler(innen) hoffen auf größere Einsicht. Diese Übersicht wäre ohne den unermüdlichen Einsatz von Frau Verena Witte M. A., Bochum, nicht möglich gewesen. Daher gilt ihr unser besonderer Dank. This compilation of German research in history of science, technology, and medicine for the years 1997 to 2004 will continue the previous ones. Researchers of the institutions have given us these information, however, only up to ten indications were requested by the national committee of the IUHPS/DHS. More research results may be found on the homepages of the larger institutes and of most of the individual researchers. The list adheres to the alphabet of the authors names, no longer to that of the institutions. After this note you will find the survey of them. A new national data base is proceeding very slowly and completion might still last some time in a country where this kind of research is considered to be of regional importance only ,! This compilation was again supported by the national German science foundation (DFG), which we appreciated very much. The compilation work was mainly done thanks to the efforts of Verena Witte MA, Bochum. [source]