Research & Development

PreK-12 Integrated STEM Education

Our research goals with preK-12 students and teachers focus on learning and the design of learning environments. To that end, we investigate evidence-based learning environments that promote discourse-rich, formative assessment-based learning opportunities that (1) target science and engineering practices and (2) foster culturally relevant and equitable participation in STEM opportunities.

We engage in the study of both in-school and out-of-school STEM learning with a focus on learning progressions and developmental pathways that inform instructional and curricular frameworks. We strive to understand and support students' development and attainment of conceptual, epistemic, and procedural learning goals; e.g., core content knowledge, problem-solving, critical and computational thinking, model-based reasoning, and collaborative teamwork. Our curriculum design is engineering-forward STEM integration with learning situated in authentic, place-based contexts rooted in phenomena.

Current efforts and collaborations:

  • West Dallas STEM School
  • Maker Education Project
  • Persistence, Effectiveness and Retention Studies In STEM Teaching (NSF Award #1904102)



Engineering Education

As part of the SMU Lyle School of Engineering, we seek to improve the quality of undergraduate and graduate engineering education to support students in developing the knowledge and practices needed to be successful in their engineering careers. We consider principles of human-centered design to be central to the design process and are interested in developing deeper industry connections for authentic design opportunities for Lyle students. CIEE works closely with Lyle faculty/staff and CIEE Fellows to improve the recruitment and engagement of students as they prepare for engineering, computer science, and leadership positions in academia, business, and industry. 

CIEE is focused on making an impact in engineering education based on strong scholarship and research activities at the postsecondary level. We are committed to our students, faculty, and research.

Our goal is to provide our undergraduate students with meaningful experiences that will make an impact on their education and training. 
Lyle graduate students will be prepared with the knowledge and expertise needed in engineering education to become strong researchers in the field. 
The next generation of faculty will be equipped with the skills needed to be successful in the classroom. 


Interested in Collaborating with Us?

We are always looking to make new connections with teachers and schools interested in planning, implementing, and evaluating innovative approaches to STEM education. Contact us at for more information.