The Lastinger Center and SRI International, together with its research collaborators, has been awarded a $12 million Investing in Innovation (i3) grant by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement to expand and validate SunBay Digital Math – an innovative middle school digital mathematics program in Florida schools.

The SunBay Digital Math program helps teach challenging middle school math concepts by integrating technology, standards-aligned curriculum and teacher professional development into a powerful package that boosts student learning. Based on two decades of research on how students learn key mathematical ideas with technology, SunBay uses visual dynamic representations to foster reasoning and support collaboration that increases student achievement in mathematics. The program has shown learning gains through studies in Florida, Texas and England.

SunBay research partners are focusing on supporting Broward and Palm Beach counties. The University of Florida Lastinger Center for Learning will provide professional development and support for teachers in Broward and Palm Beach counties; the University of South Florida St. Petersburg will investigate innovative approaches to professional development; and the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) at the University of Pennsylvania, which will lead the SunBay evaluation efforts. Additionally, the Helios Education Foundation, a key funding partner, is providing 50 percent of the required matching funds for the i3 grant. The funding will be used to make SunBay Digital Math as cost effective as possible, to improve instructional and teacher development processes, to recruit school districts to contribute to the scale and sustainability of the effort, and to identify and enable broad adoption of effective practices to introduce digital technologies into the classroom.