Principal Investigator: Joni Falk and Brian Drayton

Funders: National Science Foundation

Website: MSPnet: The Math and Science Partnership Network

MSPnet is an electronic learning community for the National Science Foundation's Math, Science, Partnership (MSP) Program.

With the MSP program, the National Science Foundation implemented an important facet of the President's No Child Left Behind (NCLB) vision for K-12 education. A major research and development effort, the MSP program responds to concern over the performance of the nation's children in mathematics and science. Institutions of higher education - their disciplinary faculty in departments of mathematics, the sciences and/or engineering, education faculty and administrators - partner with K-12 districts and others to effect deep, lasting improvement in K-12 mathematics and science education.

MSPnet provides nested electronic communities in order to serve both the needs of the program as a whole and the needs of individual MSP projects which make up the program's portfolio. It provides the entire community with a "Hub" space where projects share resource, library articles, emerging research, tools, best practices and challenges. In addition, MSPnet provides each of the 72 MSP projects with its own interactive website to enable communication and the sharing of resources with partners and constituents who may be at a distance. Individual projects both contribute to, and draw from, resources posted for the entire community in the "Hub."

In addition to serving the needs of staff on the MSPs, MSPnet provides a public interface to allow stakeholders to learn more about this important initiative. To date over 150,000 unique visitors have come to the site. Visitors can browse an extensive library of articles on STEM education, learn from resources, and read highlights posted by MSP projects in the Project Showcase.

Last, MSPnet conducts research on the impact that online communities have on strengthening collaboration patterns in large scale reform efforts. This research will inform implementers, designers and research of electronic communities of practice.