Biodiversity Investigation 
Data Collecting
   Facilitated by
  - Lucy Spelman (RISD)
     Amy O'Donnell (RITES, RI College)

Teacher Leaders prepare for RITES in 2014-2015

RITES proposal for
Computer Science Education
passes first round


Engineering in the Sci Classroom
Problem Solving
  Facilitated by
  - Josh Beagan (Middletown)
     Alicia Sullivan (W Warwick)
     Frank Lenox (E Greenwich)


Quick Links
RITES Internal Web RITES Investigations Portal RITES Support RITES FAQ RITES Calendar

Opportunities for RITES Teachers

RITES demonstrates portable x-ray diffraction instrument developed for the next Mars Rover to Rhode Island classrooms.
Read More.

Opportunities for Students

The University of RI Providence Campus conducts the undergraduate Biotechnology Manufacturing Program. Read More.


RITES Leadership present at the 2011 Math and Science Partnership (MSP) Learning Network Conference. 
Read More.


After participating in the RITES Short Course, "Sleuthing Through the Rock Cycle," I was finally excited to teach my students about rocks. 

Amy Paon, Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School, Coventry. Read More.

When I see where I’ve come as a direct result of taking the RITES Healthy Water course this Fall, I am grateful for having had the opportunity to be deeply immersed in (the) content.

Anne McLaughlin, Chemistry Teacher, Cranston HS West. Read More.

The Rhode Island Technology Enhanced Science project is supported by the National science Foundation under grant EHR-0831974 of the Mathematics & Science Partnership program.

For more information 

This Summer

For eight weeks of summer, from June 30 to 10 August, the RITES office will be open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

As you probably have heard, Amy O'Donnell, RITES STEM Liaison and curriculum developer, is leaving us.  Amy is the heart of our PD program.  Through her expertise in the classroom and deep knowledge of constructivist pedagogy, RITES has become a well-respected collaborator in the K-16 community.  Uncompromising in her pursuit of excellence, Amy has brought RITES teachers a renewed perspective on scientific practices that exemplifies the best of the next generation science teaching and learning.  We wish her well in her new endeavors ... and we hope to entice her to continue to work with RITES in our programs ahead.

RITES Project has a presence at both RIC and URI and the main telephone numbers are as follows:
Rhode Island College - (401) 456-2800                   University of Rhode Island - (401) 874-4071

Howard can also be reached directly at (401) 874-4502.

Teacher Leader Workshop Prepares RITES Investigations
for 2014 - 2015 School Year

On Thursday, June 19, RITES held a workshop for teacher and curriculum leaders from its leadership partner districts – Chariho, Cranston, Johnston, Providence, South Kingstown and Westerly.  The objective of the day’s discussions and activities was to choose those RITES investigations which best fit each district’s science curriculum so that the most appropriate choices can be recommended to teachers for district-wide implementations in the 2014-2015 school year.

The day started with a review of the RITES portal and the 41 investigations currently available.  This was followed by a exploration of the ‘new, lightweight investigations’.  The lightweight platform allows investigations to operate in any modern browser, such as, iPads, tablets and smart-phones.  The platform also provides a streamlined and modern presentation of the investigations, a more intuitive interaction, and opens up new possibilities for the investigations; for example, now two sensors can be used concurrently, allowing two related data sets to be collected and their graphs overlaid.

Having refreshed our memories of what is available, participants formed pairs and triads, by district and by grade span, to discuss the selection of investigations for recommendations next year.  Priority criteria that emerged from discussions were: alignment with district priorities and schools’ SLO’s; elements that transition to NGSS, particularly the practices and cross-cutting concepts; scientific literacy; and, availability in the light-weight platform.

After lunch, Amy led us through a gallery walk that modeled a flexible pedagogical approach to scientific literacy and NGSS transitions in the classroom.  Participants then shared out their process for selecting investigations and the investigations selected for the upcoming school year.

In the end, much was accomplished.  All agreed that this was a strong first step in the direction of extending RITES success and impact in their classrooms and for their students.  RITES looks forward to the summer and early fall, as we continue the collaborations that will lead to successful science teaching and learning in the new school year.

Homepage, Rock Cycle light-weight platform

Light-weight Investigations are coming!

The new home page for the new Sleuthing Through the Rock Cycle.

The modern look and intuitive interactions are evident in this example.

For more information about the new platform, or for a tutorial to experience

     these advantages for yourself, contact either Henry or Howard.

For a list of investigations being converted for the Fall, click here.

If you would like to recommend investigations to be converted sooner rather

than later, contact Howard with your suggestions.

RITES proposal to extend its work
to Computer Science Education
passes first round at NSF

RITES submitted a supplement request to the National Science Foundation on Mar 18.  We requested an additional $500,000 to extend the RITES program model and partnership to the computer science discipline here in RI.  At NSF, this area is designated “STEM-CS”.  On Jun 17, we heard back from our program officer at the Foundation, Kathleen Bergin.

I am pleased to inform you that the supplemental request of the RITES: Rhode Island Technology Enhanced Science Program to expand your work to include the teaching of a new AP Computer Science Principles course and the use of the Exploring Computer Science course as a “template to introduce computational thinking” in three core school districts in Rhode Island has been well received and is under consideration for funding.

There then followed a list of requests for further information and changes to receive final approval of the supplement.  All replies to the Foundation are due by 2 July.  Here is a summary of these items:

  • IRB – NSF requires an updated IRB, as the one in their file closed on 31 Mar 2014.  In fact, the IRB has already been updated and is now valid through 31 Mar 2015.  A copy of this current IRB extension has been sent to Kathleen.

  • Budget – A 6% budget reduction is required.  Any effects on line items and the scope of work is to be detailed as well.  Also, the supplement request did not specifically request funds for participant support, e.g., teacher stipends.   There is a general reference to using unexpended MSP participant support funds for the STEM-CS activity.  NSF requested further explanation on the adequacy of these funds.  The 6% cut was applied to each of the 3 major collaborators – RITES, URI Computer Science Department, and the Center for Human Services, the external evaluator.  To do this, it was necessary to eliminate the line items for materials and travel.

  • Research & Evaluation   A series of questions asked for more details about the research questions and the evaluation design.  Howard, Victor and Deb met on Friday, 27 Jun, to discuss these items and frame the responses.

  • Annual Report 2014 – This year’s Annual Report is requested for 2 July.  The time frame for submitting these reports each year is anytime between 1 July and 30 Sept.  However, to be considered for the supplement, NSF is requiring us to submit the report for 2 July.  Howard, Dan and Glênisson are leading this effort.

As of today, we are on target to submit all these materials by end of day, Wednesday, 2 July.  If you wish further detail or information about any aspect of the supplement, please contact Howard at 401-874-4502 (URI) or 401-456-2800 (RIC).