The proposed team research initiative consists of mainly four interconnected projects (and one active-learning project) aimed at enhancing instructional quality in STEM education and measuring their impact. The first project focuses on improving pre-lecture videos by integrating near and far transfer questions, promoting active engagement and deeper understanding. The second project explores the use of virtual reality (VR) to enhance astronomy education through immersive experiences, addressing the limitations of traditional labs and enabling better student engagement and understanding. The third project integrates VR technology with telescopes and microscopes, creating virtual labs and training experiences to overcome equipment limitations and enhance science education. The fourth project is a platform building project that support the adoption of extended reality (XR) across the STEM discipline. Lastly, the fifth project focuses on the promotion of active learning and experiential learning environment especially in the astronomy labs. In this project, we currently build curriculum activities with low-cost (<\$100) telescopes. These projects aim to increase accessibility, cost-effectiveness, engagement, and research potential in STEM education by leveraging technology. The team will collaborate to develop VR simulations, training modules, and collect data for analysis to refine teaching strategies.

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Total funding (since 2019) = \$337,500