UMD Receives Math and Science Education Grant

Graduate Students to Work with Area Schools

UMD's College of Science and Engineering (CSE) has received $3 million funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a five-year project entitled GK-12: Graduate Fellows in Science and Mathematics Education.

This project will place 10 graduate students (called graduate fellows) into four area schools for ten hours a week. The involved area schools are Fond Du Lac Ojibwe Elementary School, Proctor Middle School, Cloquet High School, and Harbor City International School. The graduate students will be enrolled in one of three master of science graduate programs: Integrated Biological Sciences, Geological Sciences, and Applied and Computational Mathematics.

The project’s primary objectives include 1) increasing the interest, desire, skills and effectiveness of graduate fellows to teach and communicate science and mathematics knowledge with non-technical audiences and K-12 students; 2) increasing the knowledge, disciplinary specific skills, and confidence of K-12 teachers to effectively teach science and mathematics, and; 3) increasing K-12 student interest and learning in science and mathematics. Photo: Carmen Latterell, Principal Investigator for the project.

The UMD students will participate in Summer Institutes, academic year activities in the K-12 schools, and activities to provide ongoing training, interaction and support among the graduate fellows and the K-12 community. These activities are designed to create a rich, interactive context in which graduate fellows and K-12 teachers will collaborate to select, develop and implement an innovative science and mathematics curriculum for their school.

"Dr. Latterell's outstanding leadership in obtaining NSF funding for this educational program is greatly appreciated by her colleagues in CSE," said James P. Riehl, Dean of the College of Science and Engineering. "This grant represents an important step in CSE's efforts to do what we can to help out in K-12 science/math education, and in the preparation of the next generation of American scientists and engineers."

The diversity of project participants will yield a valuable interdisciplinary perspective for students, teachers and fellows. Science and mathematics discipline faculty will work with and supervise fellow/teacher teams to ensure high quality science and mathematics content, support team efforts and provide access to needed university resources. This project includes efforts to broaden the participation of underrepresented groups. The project includes an extensive plan to recruit Native Americans as fellows.

Participating university staff, fellows and K-12 teachers will share their experiences and results with their colleagues locally, regionally, and nationally. University and K-12 communities will gain a greater appreciation of the potential mutual benefits of developing and maintaining strong working relationships among university faculty, graduate fellows and K-12 teachers. Further, opportunities for fellows to interact with parents and the broader community will provide greater public appreciation and understanding of the science, mathematics, and educational resources the University of Minnesota Duluth offers.

The budget allows for $600,000 a year, for a total of three million dollars. The Principal Investigator is Carmen Latterell, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and the Co-Principal Investigators are Program Director Cindy Hale, Associate Professor Penny Morton, Professor John Pastor, and Professor Bruce Munson, all of UMD.

 

For information contact Carmen Latterel at 218-726-6573 or email: clattere@d.umn.edu.

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