Publications & Research


Publications: Our first paper on Data Nuggets is in the January 2015 issue of the American Biology Teacher. We hope this paper introduces Data Nuggets to a broader audience of teachers. Click here for a PDF!

Schultheis, E. H. and M. K. Kjelvik (2015). Data Nuggets: Bringing Real Data into the Classroom to Unearth Students’ Quantitative and Inquiry Skills. The American Biology Teacher 77(1):19-29.

We were published in the June 2019 issue of CBE Life Sciences Education available open access online. Click here for a PDF!

Kjelvik, M. K. and E. H. Schultheis (2019). Getting messy with authentic data: Exploring the potential of using data from scientific research to support student data literacyCBE Life Sciences Education 18(2): es2.

Our most recent paper is out in the September 2020 issue of The American Biology Teacher! Click here for a PDF!

Schultheis, E. H. and M. K. Kjelvik (2020). Using messy, authentic data to promote data literacy and reveal the nature of science. The American Biology Teacher 82(7): 439-446.


NSF IUSE Research Study: We are collaborating with Project Biodiversify on a new grant, with the goal of increasing the representation in our scientist role models found in Data Nuggets.

Press release coming soon!


NSF DRK-12 Research Study: We just completed our first research study, in partnership with BSCS and BEACON at MSU. Using a fully randomized design, we evaluated the effectiveness of integrating Data Nuggets into science curriculum. We found that students in classrooms using Data Nuggets:

  1. Spent more time engaged in the practices of science.

  2. Were better at constructing scientific explanations, including their ability to support claims using data as evidence.

  3. Had greater confidence (self-efficacy) in their science and data literacy abilities.

  4. Showed greater motivation to engage in science and pursue STEM careers.

For a press release on the project, check out the page on MSU’s website here.


BEACON: Data Nuggets are funded by several grants through the BEACON Center at Michigan State University. The goal of this collaboration is to hold science communication professional development workshops across all 5 BEACON institutions, create evolution-themed curriculum to use in K-12 and undergraduate classrooms, and disseminate BEACON research to share true stories of the process of evolution research.

  • Enhancing BEACON’s educational legacy with a set of curricular materials derived from our center’s research (2020)
  • Bringing Data to Life in Science Classrooms (2016)
  • Data on Data Nuggets: Assessing the efficacy of an innovative science education resource to build a foundation for future support (2015)
  • Taking Data Nuggets to the national level (2014)
  • Data Nuggets: Unearthing Inquiry skills (2013)

LTER Data Nuggets: Data Nuggets were funded by the KBS LTER to develop new activities that focus on available long-term datasets, and expand students’ exposure to data of different levels of complexity. To explore these resources, check out this page!

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