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Mari Strand Cary

Mari Strand Cary's picture

Contact Info

Office Location: 
1600 Millrace Dr., Suite 108B 5292 University of Oregon Eugene, OR 97403-5292
(541) 346-8357
Research Associate
Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Child Psychology, 2004
B.S., University of Puget Sound, Biology, 1996
Research and Outreach Unit(s): 

Drawing upon her expertise in child development, Mari Strand Cary, Ph.D., develops and maximizes the implementation and effects of educational technology for PreK-Gr12 students. Improving early elementary mathematics instruction - especially for students with or at risk for mathematics learning difficulties - is a current goal. As Principal Investigator on an IES-funded Development and Innovation grant and an OSEP-funded Stepping Up Technology grant, she is currently working with colleagues to develop and refine the KinderTEK system of iPad-based individualized math instruction. She is involved in a number of other federally-funded research grants to develop and test research-based instructional approaches and interventions in the areas of elementary mathematics and evaluating existing middle school reading and engagement interventions in major Oregon districts.



Clarke, B., Doabler, C. T., Smolkowski, K., Baker, S. K., Fien, H., & Strand Cary, M. (In press) Examining the efficacy of a tier 2 kindergarten intervention. Journal of Learning Disabilities.

Clarke, B., Doabler, C. T., Strand-Cary, M., Kosty, D., Baker, S., Fien, H., & Smolkowski, K. (in press). Preliminary evaluation of a tier-2 mathematics intervention for first grade students: Utilizing a theory of change to guide formative evaluation activities. School Psychology Review.

Doabler, C.T., Clarke, B., Fien, H., Baker, S., Kosty, D., & Strand-Cary, M. (in press). The science behind curriculum development and evaluation: Taking a design science approach in the production of a tier 2 mathematics curriculum. Learning Disability Quarterly.

Doabler, C. T., Strand Cary, M., Jungjohann, K., Fien, H., Clarke, B., Baker, S. K., Smolkowski, K., & Chard, D. (2012). Enhancing core math instruction for students at-risk for mathematics disabilities. Teaching Exceptional Children, 44(4), 48–57.

Clarke, B., Doabler, C. T., Baker, S. K. Fien, H., Jungjohann, K., & Strand Cary, M. (2011). Pursuing instructional coherence: Can strong tier 1 systems better meet the needs of the range of students in general education settings? In R. M. Gersten & R. Newman-Gonchar (Eds.), Understanding RTI in mathematics: Proven methods and applications (pp. 49–64). Baltimore, MD: Brooke Publishing.

Silk, E., Schunn, C., & Strand Cary, M. (2009). The impact of an engineering design curriculum on science reasoning in an urban setting. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 18(3), 209–223. doi: 10.1007/s10956-009-9144-8

Strand Cary, M. (2009). Navigating institutional review boards when conducting school-based research. In L. M. Dinella (Ed.), Conducting science-based psychology research in schools (pp. 33–50). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Klahr, D., Triona, L., Strand-Cary, M., & Siler, S. (2008). Virtual vs. physical materials in early science instruction: Transitioning to an autonomous tutor for experimental design In J. Zumbach, N. Schwartz, T. Seufert & L. Kester (Eds.), Beyond knowledge: The legacy of competence. Meaningful computer-based learning environments (pp. 163–172). Amsterdam: Springer Netherlands. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4020-8827-8_23

Strand Cary, M., & Klahr, D. (2008). Developing elementary science skills: Instructional effectiveness and path independence. Cognitive Development, 23(4), 488–511. doi: 10.1016/j.cogdev.2008.09.005

Bauer, P. J., van Abbema, D. L., Wiebe, S. A., Strand Cary, M., Phill, C., & Burch, M. M. (2004). Props, not pictures, are worth a thousand words: Verbal accessibility of early memories under different conditions of contextual support. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 18(4), 373–392. doi: 10.1002/acp.1006

Bauer, P. J., Cheatham, C. L., Strand Cary, M., & Van Abbema, D. L. (2002). Short-term forgetting: Charting its course and its implications for long-term remembering. In S. P. Shohov (Ed.), Perspectives on cognitive psychology (pp. 55–74). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers. [Reprint].

Bauer, P. J., Cheatham, C. L., Strand Cary, M., & van Abbema, D. L. (2001). Short-term forgetting: Charting its course and its implications for long-term remembering. In S. P. Shohov (Ed.), Advances in psychology research (Vol. 9, pp. 93–112). Huntington, N.Y.: Nova Science.


Current federally-funded projects and roles

Project Director / Principal Investigator (2014-19). Stepping Up KinderTEK: Expanding Early Math Instruction for Students with Disabilities. (Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Stepping Up Technology, awarded $2,498,503). PI: Strand Cary, M. & Clarke, B.

Research Manager (2013–2015). The middle school intervention project. (U.S. Department of Education; Institute for Educational Sciences, 2010-2015,  awarded $7,247,713). PI: Hank Fien, Nancy Nelson, Scott Baker, and Deanne Crone. (

Project Director / Principal Investigator (2011-2014). KinderTEK: Teaching early knowledge of whole number concepts through technology. (Institute of Education Sciences, Special Education Research, awarded $1,784,094). PI: Mari Strand Cary and Ben Clarke (

Past federally-funded projects

Lead Evaluation Specialist (2012–2015) & Evaluation Specialist (2010–2012). The middle school intervention project. (U.S. Department of Education; Institute for Educational Sciences, 2010-2015,  awarded $7,247,713). PI: Scott K. Baker, Deanne A. Crone, and Hank Fien.

Research Coordinator (2009-2012). FUSION: Foundations of mathematical understanding: developing a strategic intervention on whole number concepts (Institute of Education Sciences,  awarded $1,455,851). PI: Scott K. Baker, Ben Clarke, & Hank Fien.

Research Coordinator (2009-2012). ELM: Early learning in mathematics: Efficacy in kindergarten classrooms. (U.S. Department of Education, Institute for Education Science, awarded $4,219,430). PI: Scott K. Baker, David J. Chard, Ben Clarke, Keith Smolkowski, and Hank Fien.

Co-Principal Investigator (2006-2009). Training in Experimental Design (TED): Developing scalable and adaptive computer-based science instruction. (Institute of Education Science, National Center for Education Research, Cognition and Student Learning, Development, 2006–2009,  $1,485,318).