Funded Research and Initiatives

SISLT Research & Development projects are housed in the Allen Institute, named in honor of Dr. Bryce L. Allen who was recognized as an excellent instructor and ground-breaking researcher in SISLT during the period 1996 – 2001. The Allen Institute offers an infrastructure of support and a collaborative space wherein the vital inquiry of SISLT can be enhanced. Bryce Allen represented the best of collaboration and creative research; the goal of The Allen Institute is to continue in this noble tradition.


Catalysts for Community Health (C4CH)

Point of Contact: Jenny Bossaller at
Catalysts for Community Health (C4CH) is a three-year project grant to develop an interdisciplinary community health information curriculum and create a network of practice throughout the Midwest focused on meeting information needs for low-income and rural communities. Specific aims are to create information and curricular resources, develop health information outreach and programming skills with collaborators and students, train a student cohort to lead community health information networks, and expand a community empowerment framework to library education.


Creativity throughout the Curriculum: Educational Practices to Build the STEM Workforce of Tomorrow.

Point of Contact: Johannes Strobel at
The nation’s economy and security require an engineering workforce that can design, manufacture, test, and deploy effective solutions to urgent, complex problems. In addition to developing traditional engineering skills, this workforce must also gain skills in innovation and creativity. This project aims to address this need by investigating a new paradigm of engineering education that integrates the foundations of science, engineering, problem-solving, and critical thinking with training in creative thinking, which is the foundation of innovation.


Problem based learning environments — particularly in STEM disciplines

Point of Contact: Rose Marra at
Dr. Marra just received an NSF grant to study metacognition development in engineering students at the PBL Iron Range Engineering Program. Dr. Marra is actively seeking to hire a GA to help with data collection and analysis for this project.
Design, implementation and research of tools used to support meaningful collaboration in online settings. Dr. Marra was PI of the NSF funded SCEE (Supporting Collaboration in Engineering Education) where she created and researched tools to support online and asynchronous collaboration for engineering problem solving. Dr. Marra is currently working with colleagues to extend and refine this idea for supporting “kitchen” science labs in online K-12 science learning in the context of the MIZZOU K-12 Online High School.


STEM Education in Rural America

Point of Contact: Johannes Strobel at
“STEM education in rural America faces the challenge of having many isolated teachers who do not have the support or resources to offer advanced STEM courses to interested students,” Strobel said. “These grants will allow us to expand our efforts to introduce innovative support techniques and technology to help STEM educators in rural areas, and could make a big difference for students who are curious about science and engineering.”