A University of Oregon program has received a grant to foster growth in mathematics and science in Lane County schools.
The grant provides $810,000 over three years meant to support professional development for third- through eighth-grade teachers in Lane County. The award, given by the Oregon Department of Education, went to the UO’s Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Careers through Outreach, Research and Education, or STEM CORE.
“This grant was awarded in order to support teachers from high-need schools, where students have below-average achievement in math or science, with professional development activities that will help them engage their students in projects that have real-world and career context,” explained Bryan Rebar, the associate director of the STEM CORE at the UO.
The grant will be used to engage students in education that has relevance to careers in math and science. The project aims to develop project-based coursework that can be shared and adopted by teachers throughout the region. The curriculum will be linked to the work of STEM professionals or local business and industry partners who will share their perspectives and expertise.
Rebar also spoke about a need to diversify students entering STEM, saying, “Women and minorities are underrepresented in most STEM areas.” He believes that the project will encourage these groups to become more engaged in STEM-related careers.
“We need students to experience the practices of STEM professionals, not just do inquiry to uncover the facts of science,” Rebar said. “We want students to do authentic work, the same way researchers and STEM professionals do.”
—By Nathan Stevens, Public Affairs Communications intern