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MSPnet Proposal Narrative


TERC proposes a five-year Infrastructure and Communications Project to implement and facilitate MSPnet, a web based, interactive, electronic community that will build capacity and enrich the knowledge base of the Math Science Partnerships (MSPs). The goals of MSPnet will be to facilitate communication and collaboration between and within the MSPs, and to provide a vehicle for dissemination to the public. Specifically, MSPnet will: 1) expand MSP projects' access to, and ability to share, resources, emerging research tools, best practices, obstacles, and strategies; 2) strengthen geographically dispersed partnerships by enhancing and sustaining dialogue through innovative collaborative tools, events, and structures; 3) create a growing archive, for both researchers and practitioners, of the lessons and accomplishments of the MSP program; 4) enhance the public's access to, and knowledge of, the MSP program; 5) conduct research on the impact of on-line formats, functionalities, and structures to enhance large-scale educational reform efforts.

The proposed grant builds on and expands the PIs' current work creating effective electronic communities to support NSF programs and systemic reform efforts. Most directly it will build on the work of LSC-Net (ESI-9812831), a successful electronic community serving 90 LSC projects, and Supporting and Understanding Sustainability in Local Systemic Change (ESI- 0088027), which has created three exemplary virtual conferences on the topic of sustainability of systemic reform. The proposal is informed by a RETA design grant (MSPnet MSP-0233472) which has substantiated the critical need and desirability of such a project for the MSP projects.