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Raggio Research Center

Welcome to the website for the Raggio Research Center for STEM Education. The purpose of the Raggio Research Center is to promote a better understanding of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines by providing quality programs focused in, among other areas, outreach and research. For more about our center's goals, please read the Raggio Research Center mission statement.

You can also reserve one of the rooms in the Raggio Research Center for a class or event.

Latest News

  • December 1, 2015:   Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giant

Beneath the surface of the world's rivers swim mysterious giants.  Join Dr. Zeb Hogan, National Geographic explorer, host of the Nat Geo WILD series Monster Fish, and a University of Nevada, Reno professor,  on a journey to find and protect the world's largest freshwater fish.   Monster Fish will be on exhibit at The Discovery through April 24, 2016-the very first traveling stop after its debut at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C.  The Monster Fish Exhibition Guide for students grades 4-8, which corresponds to the exhibition,  was written by Dr. David Crowther. science professor and the director of the Raggio Research Center for STEM Education,  in collaboration with researcher Dr. Zeb Hogan and faculty from the College of Science.  To explore this topic more go to:   or 

education guide

  • Oct. 29, 2015:  The VEX Robotics Pilot Program is a GEAR UP sub grant that the Dean's Future Scholars (DFS) program received for the 2015-2016 school year.  The purpose of the grant is for 9th and 10th grade GEAR UP students to gain hands-on experiences and exposure to STEM by assembling, modifying, and programming VEX Clawbots.   The DFS program utilized the Washoe County School District fall break to run a small-scale pilot program at the Raggio Research Center Oct. 26-29, 2015.  Ten students, ages 11 to 17 years old from local schools, participated in the 4-day robotics camp.  The pilot program will be valuable for collecting student feedback about the robots, curriculum, activities, and delivery for future robotics camps.  DFS is located in room 4117 of the Raggio Research Center for STEM Education, University of Nevada, Reno.   



  • Oct. 28, 2015: Homecoming festivities last week on the University of Nevada, Reno campus included a "Tour de Raggio," Friday, October 23, 2015.  Alumni from the College of Education toured the college facilities.  A reception followed in the Raggio Research Center for STEM Education.  Departments shared research projects and education programs within the college.  Mrs. William J. Raggio (Dale) was an honored guest of the open house.  The College of Education building was renamed in 2003 in honor of Nevada State Senator William J. Raggio.  Guests toured the Raggio Research facility, including the resource center which is being established to provide STEM education resources to educators in the northern Nevada community.  Grants from sponsors including the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA),  the United States Department of Education and the Nevada State Department of Education were highlighted as their funding provides the education research and programs which enrich science education and instruction of the STEM fields in our schools and communities.  Below left is Mrs. Dale Raggio with Sandra Prytherch, program manager, education grants for the Raggio Research Center.  Student Worker Jeffrey Bouchard explains what is available through the resource center at the RRC.

Dale RaggioIA


  • Sept. 9, 2015:  Paraprofessionals from Washoe County School District gathered for their first face-to-face meeting.  The group is participating in the NNELI Fall 2015 Paraprofessional Cohort, a nine-month professional development workshop. 
    2015-2016 Paraprofessional Group
  • August 22, 2015:  Teachers from Las Vegas and Northern Nevada gathered Saturday, August 22, at the Raggio Research Center for a professional development workshop as part of the CLASSP (Cyber-Learning Activities to Scaffold STEM Practices) grant.  A state-wide project, CLASSP is an EPSCoR Track 3 grant funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), addressing the overarching question: how can innovative, cyber-enabled instructional methods transform STEM education and increase opportunities for underrepresented populations? The instructional method that was explored was the 5-DIE approach for developing scientific literacy.  5-DIE or 5-Featured Dynamic Inquiry Enterprise,  begins with 1.  A scientific question, 2. Collection of evidence 3. Create Explanations 4. Compare explanations to scientific knowledge and 5. Communicate and justify explanations.  Over the course of a year, the teachers will complete an online course and use this method in their classrooms.  

CLASSP Teachers

  • July 24, 2015:  Licorice twists and gummies form edible DNA strands to engage children in science, one of the final presentations made Friday, the final day of the NNELI specialized summer courses in STEM and academic language.

DNA strandDNA presentation

NNELI Class picture

  • July 24, 2015 :  Last day of class:  NNELI participants stopped from giving final presentations to take a class picture.  Most of the pre-service teachers and classroom teachers were dressed in their own tie dye creations that were made in Professor David Crowther's science lab.  The photo also marked the end of the NNELI specialized summer courses in STEM and academic language, a three-week intensive professional development workshop available only to NNELI grant participants.  
  • June 24, 2015: The Raggio Research Center for STEM Education last year was awarded a very competitive National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovative Technology Experiences for Student and Teachers (ITEST) grant entitled Project ReCharge.  A three-year collaboration between the University of Nevada, Reno, the Washoe County School District (WCSD), and local nonprofit Envirolution, Project ReCharge will engage teachers and over 3000 students to interface with real-time data through innovative energy efficient technologies and will empower them to make energy-saving recommendations for their schools.  Dr. David Crowther, executive director of the Raggio Research Center and principal investigator in charge of Project ReCharge, recently was interviewed by KUNR Reno public radio.  Crowther spoke how through this program, students are becoming "energy detectives" for their schools.  Read or listen to the interview by following this link.

  • June 22, 2015: Teachers from several Nevada school districts this week are attending a professional development and research  workshop at the Raggio Research Center.  The program is NERDS or Nevada Educators Really Doing Solar.  UNR Associate Professor Dr. Ravi Subramanian is applying National Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and STEM activities to a Solar Energy course content that will be effective introducing solar in the classroom.  Teachers will assemble and race solar-powered cars and explore wind energy and other energy sources.  Included in the week-long program will be field trips to Nevada solar installations including the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project at Tonopah, NV.  NERDS is funded by the EPSCoR Nexus grant through an award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). 

  • September 18, 2014: Read the final report for SCIP Spring 2014

  • January 3, 2014:  Thirty local high school students have applied for the STEM Career Investigation Program or (SCIP).  There is still time to apply.  The  application deadline has been extended to January 31, 2014.  The seminar series will be Tuesday evenings during the months of February and March 2014, from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.  The six sessions are free and are open to 10th-12th grade high school students, from Reno and Sparks, who want to explore a career in science and engineering.  Students who attend all six sessions, will receive a certificate of completion.  For more information and to apply for the SCIP program click here. .
  • January 2, 2014:  Happy New Year from the faculty and staff of the Raggio Research Center for STEM Education.  We look forward to working with the new Raggio Research Center Advisory Board this year.  Board members and organizations who wish to promote their STEM activities on this website, are welcome to email the program or event information to    
  • December 10, 2013: The application deadline for local high school students to apply for the STEM Career Investigation Program or (SCIP), has been extended to Tuesday, December 31st.  For more information and to apply for the SCIP program click here.
  • October 30, 2013: STEM Career Investigation Program or (SCIP) gives local high school  students the opportunity to observe current research from University of Nevada, Reno scientists and engineers and STEM businesses from our community.  The program also introduces students to careers in specialized areas of science and engineering.  Applications are currently being accepted for the Spring 2014 SCIP seminar series at the Raggio Research Center, UNR.  The seminar series will be Tuesday evenings during the months of February and March 2014, from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.  The six sessions are free and are open to 10th-12th grade high school students from Reno and Sparks.  Friday, December 13, is the deadline for applying for participation in the program.  Acceptance into the program will begin early January, 2014.  For more information and to apply for the SCIP program click here.
  • September 2012: On Thursday September 20, 2012, the Nevada Discovery Museum is hosting the Tech Café. It is Northern Nevada’s premiere educational technology showcase for pre-service and classroom teachers! From 2:30-3:45pm on Thursday, pre-service teachers from the University of Nevada, Reno, Truckee Meadows Community College, and surrounding colleges of education are welcome for a FREE sneak peak at the Tech Cafe “teched-up” exhibits from the following rooms at the Discovery Museum: the Nevada Stories Room, Under the Stars, the Da Vinci Room, and the Cloud Climber/Truckee Connects exhibit. To create a robust Discovery Museum experience for teachers and their students, each of these rooms has had lesson plans created using the Common Core State Standards, 21st Century Skills, and other Nevada State Standards to base lessons from. Teachers can differentiate their lessons to use more or less technology with their students. Types of technology-integration include ActiveBoards, iPods/iPads, Web 2.0 technologies, audio/video, and other available classroom technology.

    Pre-service teachers will have a special time allotted to visit the Discovery Museum, look at the exhibits, then join a discussion panel to talk about what they experienced at Tech Cafe. If pre-service teachers are interested in volunteering to meet class requirements, they can volunteer before, during and after the 4-8pm event for current classroom teachers. All Nevada educators—both PK-12 and higher ed—are welcome! Classroom teachers who attend get to be the first to sign up for 2012-2013 field-trips to the Nevada Discovery Museum—and the Discovery Museum pays transportation expenses and museum tickets are discounted!

    University of Nevada, Reno & Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) instructors, tell your students about this great opportunity! For more information or for students to RSVP, please visit TechCafe 2012 or the Innovate Twenty-two/Tech Café Facebook page to RSVP and to LIKE us on Facebook!

    If you have any questions, please contact Shawn Pennell at

  • May 1, 2012: The Raggio Research Center is pleased to announce the funding of the Northern Nevada English Learning Initiative (NNELI), a National Professional Development grant program funded by the United States Department of Education. The grant was sought by University of Nevada, Reno, College of Education, Associate Professor of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Rod Case, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, along with Co-Principal Investigators, Jacque Ewing-Taylor, Ph.D., Director of the Raggio Research Center for STEM Education, and David Crowther, Ph.D., Professor in Science Education, in consortium with the Washoe County School District. The grant was fully funded in May, 2012 by the Office of English Language Acquisition of the United States Department of Education. It is expected to continue for five years, with a total grant award of almost two million dollars ($1,935,167.)

  • NNELI's purpose is to improve instruction to English Learners (ELs) by providing professional development opportunities for pre-service teachers and in-service teachers and paraprofessionals in Northern Nevada. Most relevant to the students in your classes (EPY 330 a and 330b), this grant will give financial assistance to selected pre-service teachers at the University of Nevada, Reno as they seek an ESL endorsement. It will also pay for these pre-service teachers and selected licensed, practicing classroom teachers to take a course which focuses on strategies of working with ELs within Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines through a Sheltered Instruction (SI) approach, and a second course on Academic Language in STEM. Lastly, NNELI will offer paraprofessionals training using multi-modal digital EL/STEM tools to better serve ELs in the classroom.

    The NNELI grant offices are housed in the Raggio Research Center. NNELI staff can be reached via email at or (775) 682-7877. Check out the Northern Nevada English Learning Initiative website.
  • January 25, 2012: The Raggio Research Center has published its 2011 annual report.
  • September 29, 2011: The Nevada Pathway Project won the Partnership for 21st Century Skills award for Best Practices! Nevada was one of ten states recognized for their leadership and best practices in promoting 21st century education. Congratulations to the Nevada Pathway Project staff, participants, and students! Please read the P21 Press Release and the WCSD Pinnacle article.

Contact Us

Raggio Research Center (0432)

1664 N. Virginia Street

Reno, NV 89557

Phone (775) 784-8288

Fax (775) 327-2016

William J Raggio Building, Room 4001

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