Research & Innovation Centers

Research and Innovation Centers

Overview Lee Martin

Beta Lab

The Beta Lab at UC Davis studies how young people learn and develop through participation in making and the Maker Movement. We investigate the nature of learning that occurs during extended, youth-driven maker projects, and we design learning environments and tools to support learning through making.


California Education Lab

CEL Faculty Director Michal Kurlaender speakingThe California Education Lab is a collaborative group of researchers investigating important questions of education policy and practice in California. Much of our work focuses on understanding how young adults are prepared for, transition into, and succeed in college.


Center for Applied Policy in Education (CAP-Ed)

Connecting research, practice, and policy to promote the educational achievement of California's diverse students.

People sitting around a large table at a CAP-Ed hosted meetingEstablished in 2006, the Center for Applied Policy in Education (CAP-Ed) at UC Davis works with district and school leaders to meaningfully connect research, policy, and practice with a commitment to eliminating inequities in schooling, providing learning opportunities for diverse students. CAP-Ed connects education leaders and practitioners with nonpartisan, research-supported information and expertise from scholars and policymakers. Our services and publications foster a thoughtful, well-informed education system in California encompassing policy makers and those implementing policy in schools and districts.

Overview Heidi Ballard Ryan Meyer

Center for Community and Citizen Science

Through its research and programming, the Center for Community and Citizen Science helps scientists, communities, and other members of the public collaborate on science to address environmental problems as a part of civic life. The center researches ways to broaden and improve participation in science by diverse communities, use citizen science to effectively improve scientific learning, and develop resources and tools for building successful citizen science programs.


Sacramento Area Science Project (SASP)

Woman and teen boy seated at a dining table during Dinner with a Scientist eventThe Sacramento Area Science Project (SASP) conducts science education research and provides professional development in K-12 science instruction. SASP is an education partnership between the University of California, Davis, and California State University, Sacramento. SASP is a regional site of the California Science Project and provides support to teachers, schools, and districts for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Science and the Technical Subjects.

Overview Kevin Gee

School Policy, Action, and Research Center

SPARC LogoThe School Policy, Action, and Research Center (SPARC) at UC Davis generates research leading to actionable insights that can support the educational wellbeing of vulnerable youth.

Our work supports children experiencing adverse life and social circumstances, including Asian American and Pacific Islander youth who have been bullied, children experiencing chronic absenteeism, and child welfare-involved youth who have experienced maltreatment.


Transformative Justice in Education Center (TJE)

Conference attendees sitting in chairs arranged in a circleThe Transformative Justice in Education Center is a visionary space in the School of Education at the University of California, Davis that supports a vibrant community of researchers, designers, and futurists engaged in equity-oriented, justice-seeking education projects. Our work is guided by the 5 pedagogical stances (Winn, 2018, 2019)—History MattersRace MattersJustice MattersLanguage Matters, and Futures Matter—that enable practitioners to shift paradigm norms toward pursuits and outcomes of justice.


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