The Reedy Creek Magnet Middle School Center for the Digital Sciences/Friday Institute for Educational Innovation Research Practice Partnership



Together, Reedy Creek and the Friday Institute are partnering to develop a culture of computational thinking within Reedy Creek’s digital sciences magnet program. 


Reedy Creek Magnet Middle School (RCMMS) and the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation began working together during the 2016-2017 academic year as the Friday Institute provided repeated and varied professional development sessions to help the RCMMS staff learn the language, theory and thought processes of computational thinking with a focus on decomposition, pattern recognition, algorithms and abstraction. Over the past four years, the relationship between the two entities has evolved into an early-stage research practice partnership, where the Friday Institute serves in the research role and RCMMS serves in the practitioner role. The partnership also has a RPP broker, or liaison, who serves as an intermediary between the Friday Institute and RCMMS and additional research support from the Department of Computer Science at NC State University. 



  • Assembled a teacher leader cohort to shepherd computational thinking and computer science integration efforts including school-wide professional development
  • Formed a Digital Sciences team to plan and review computational thinking professional learning to teachers as well as programs and activities for students and parents
  • Incorporated coding and computational thinking projects into RCMMS classes, such as computer simulations and data tracking, where researchers provide hands-on support to teachers in the classroom
  • Co-participated in computational thinking events, such as Hour of Code, magnet theme showcase events, and STEM night events
  • Presented together at the NC Science Teachers Association (NCSTA) conference (shown above)
  • Facilitating first Family Code Night
  • Created a video for the National Science Foundation showcase


    • Student Learning Goal: By June 2021, every student will have participated in a coding activity in each subject area, including electives.
    • Professional Practice Goal: Continue to provide meaningful support during CT activities and monthly Professional Learning sessions for staff.
    • Partnership Goal: Provide in-time support during transition to online learning environment.

The RCMMS/FI RPP is a member of the National Network of Education Research Practice Partnerships (NNERPP), a professional learning community that provides resources to enhance the productivity of RPPs in education, and was featured in the 2020 Year in Review NNERPP Report.

In July 2021, the RCMMS/FI RPP presented at the NNERPP Annual Forum in their session “Voices from the Field: RPP Teacher Leader Perspectives.” During the presentation, educators shared their perspectives of the RPP as well as lessons learned and recommendations for the field. View the presentation here.