2019 Grants in pK-12 Education Innovation awardees | MIT J-WEL

You are here

2019 Grants in pK-12 Education Innovation awardees

Congratulations to all of our 2019 grantees in pK-12 Education Innovation! In 2019, J-WEL's pK-12 Collaborative awarded over $380,000 in funding to six projects this year. J-WEL members can watch videos of the spring grantees discussing their work here (login required).

Grant recipients, pK-12 projects


Making Learning Visible Beyond Engagement through Embedded Assessment in Informal STEM Learning Experiences

PI: Dr. Yoon Jeon (YJ) Kim, Executive Director of the MIT Playful Journey Lab
Project team: Peter Kirschmann (Design Lead), Dr. Yumiko Murai (Research Lead), Dr. Claudia Urrea, Joe Diaz

Informal learning experiences are a critical part of STEM learning for K-12 students, but it is challenging to collect evidence about their impact on student learning and skill development. This project addresses this gap by piloting embedded assessment tools in hands-on project-based learning during an informal learning context: this summer's MIT J-WEL Hong Kong STEAM Camp.

Mitch Resnick

Computational Fluency in Context: Empowering Educators to Support Personally and Culturally Meaningful Creative Coding Experiences

PI: Mitch Resnick, LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research

Project team: Dr. Natalie Rusk (Lead Research Scientist) & Shruti Dhariwal (Lead Organizer), Carmelo Presicce, Sean Hickey, Dr. Yumiko Murai (Postdoctoral Associate), Lily Gabaree, Eric Schilling, Kiyah E. Willis

Through this project, the research team from the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab is working to develop creative workshops and remixable learning resources that educators can adapt to support computational fluency with Scratch in ways that resonate with learners’ culture, surroundings, and interests. Scratch is a free programming language for kids. The resources will be co-designed with partners at research sites internationally and shared through J-WEL and other global educator networks.

Jeff Ravel


Learning Games for Middle School Math and Science in Nepal, and Beyond

PI: Jeff Ravel, Professor of History 

Project team: Rabi Karmacharya, Executive Director of Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Nepal, Ram K. Rijal (Bloom Nepal School), Professor Eric Klopfer, Philip Tan

For this project, several parties across MIT are collaborating to create games that teach math and science fundamentals to students in grades 6-8 in Nepal. Collaborators include the MIT-Nepal Initiative, MIT instructors Professor Eric Klopfer and Philip Tan, the OLE Nepal group founded by Rabi Karmacharya ’97, and the Bloom Nepal School directed by Ram K Rijal ’12. 

Michel DeGraff

A Haitian Center for Educational Innovation

PIs: Michel Anne-Frederic DeGraff, Professor of Linguistics and Director of MIT-Haiti Initiative, and Professor of Mathematics Haynes Miller 

Project team: Kirky DeLong, Dr. Glenda Stump, Dr. Lourdes Aleman, Dr. Paul Belony, Dr. Jeremy Orloff, Dr. Elizabeth Taylor

Answering a demand for Kreyòl-based education material, this project is working to establish a web-based Center, with the aim of soliciting and curating contributions of many sorts, starting with the Kreyòl material that has already been produced under the MIT-Haiti Initiative. The MIT-Haiti Initiative has been working with Haitian educators since 2010.

Haynes Miller

Fox Harrell

Virtual Reality (VR) for pK-12 Anti-Bias Education

PI: D. Fox Harrell, Professor of Digital Media & Artificial Intelligence & Director of the MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality

Project team: Dr. Danielle Olson, Professor Riana Elyse Anderson

Racial and ethnic socialization (RES) practices in classrooms significantly influence youth self-esteem, health, and academic achievement. This project will develop an interactive virtual reality (VR) narrative intervention to increase the RES competence of both K-12 teachers and students to support positive social-emotional impacts on students from diverse backgrounds.

Maria Yang

Stepping into Coding and Inventing through Toy Design

PI: Maria Yang, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Systems

Project team: Professor Michael Cima (Faculty Director of the Lemelson-MIT Program), Dr. Stephanie Couch, Rovi Porter

The Stepping into Coding and Inventing through Toy Design activity guide will engage elementary students in applying computational and design thinking, investigation of materials, and prototyping techniques to toy design. MIT students will support content development and field testing of the guide in Cambridge with female students underrepresented in STEM.