BIRD Current Research Projects

Overview

The building blocks of prosthetics come in many materials, shapes, and sizes. To create lightweight yet sturdy prosthetics, we explore 3D printing in plastic, carbon fiber, steel, and titanium. In addition, we investigate different methods of actuation such as miniature 3D printed gearboxes for fingers and twisted coil polymers. While some of these parts may look like something out of Star Wars, these are more than just computer-generated images. These prosthetics are real and they work for real people.  

Supporting Parent Engagement in Children's Learning through Neighborhood Development and Improvements to Accessibility

Date: 10/18/18
Image Credit:  Stock Photo of Housing. Martin Sanchez, Unsplash
Principal Researchers: Dr. Carrie Makarewicz Location: Oakland, CA

Professor Makarewicz’s recently published study, Supporting Parent Engagement in Children’s Learning through Neighborhood Development and Improvements to Accessibility, shines a light on how external community conditions such as household resources, community amenities, housing stability, and accessibility can have a profound effect on parents’ abilities to engage in their children’s learning.

While planners typically do not address school issues, this study shows that officials looking to improve educational outcomes would do well to consider urban planning part of their toolkit. As Makarewicz’s research demonstrates, student achievement rises when families live in neighborhoods with jobs, grocery stores, parks, accessible transit and housing stability. Her findings suggest planning can contribute to student achievement through strategic investments in community amenities and services that bolster parents’ time, energy, and resources for educational engagement in their homes, schools, and communities.

The study indicates that external influences explain two-thirds of the income-based student "achievement gap" with parent engagement being especially important. Yet, public school improvements focus on within-school reforms, downplaying community conditions that challenge engagement. This study of seventy diverse parents in Oakland, California, utilized interviews, time-use diaries, neighborhood data, and participant observation to understand how a combination of personal characteristics, household resources, community amenities, housing stability, and accessibility affected parents' abilities to engage in their children's learning. Findings suggest planning can contribute to student achievement through investments and coordination that bolster parents' time, energy, and resources for educational engagement in their homes, schools, and communities.

More Information: Click here for full article.

BIRD Past Research Projects

Supporting Parent Engagement in Children's Learning through Neighborhood Development and Improvements to Accessibility

Date: 10/18/18
Image Credit:  Stock Photo of Housing. Martin Sanchez, Unsplash
Principal Researchers: Dr. Carrie Makarewicz Location: Oakland, CA

Professor Makarewicz’s recently published study, Supporting Parent Engagement in Children’s Learning through Neighborhood Development and Improvements to Accessibility, shines a light on how external community conditions such as household resources, community amenities, housing stability, and accessibility can have a profound effect on parents’ abilities to engage in their children’s learning.

While planners typically do not address school issues, this study shows that officials looking to improve educational outcomes would do well to consider urban planning part of their toolkit. As Makarewicz’s research demonstrates, student achievement rises when families live in neighborhoods with jobs, grocery stores, parks, accessible transit and housing stability. Her findings suggest planning can contribute to student achievement through strategic investments in community amenities and services that bolster parents’ time, energy, and resources for educational engagement in their homes, schools, and communities.

The study indicates that external influences explain two-thirds of the income-based student "achievement gap" with parent engagement being especially important. Yet, public school improvements focus on within-school reforms, downplaying community conditions that challenge engagement. This study of seventy diverse parents in Oakland, California, utilized interviews, time-use diaries, neighborhood data, and participant observation to understand how a combination of personal characteristics, household resources, community amenities, housing stability, and accessibility affected parents' abilities to engage in their children's learning. Findings suggest planning can contribute to student achievement through investments and coordination that bolster parents' time, energy, and resources for educational engagement in their homes, schools, and communities.

More Information: Click here for full article.