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STEM Grant to Benefit Fredonia, Altoona, Neodesha Schools

A project to assist rural schools with science, technology and math instruction backed by Emporia State faculty recently received a nearly $200,000 grant.

The project, called FAN – STEM 1 (Fredonia, Altoona-Midway, Neodesha- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics-Initiative), will provide funding to improve the math and science instruction of elementary teachers working in high-need areas of Kansas. 

The $194,820 the grant provides will be used for 19 months – from mid-February 2016 until September 2017. The money comes from a No Child Left Behind Improving Teacher Quality competitive grant. The project will target the needs of three districts to improve K-6 grade level teacher quality in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) while providing an enhanced integrated curriculum for their classrooms.

“Twenty teachers of Kindergarten through sixth grade will be involved in this and will get in-depth training and materials to design and integrate enhanced, problem-based curriculum in their classrooms,” said Dr. Matt Seimears, one of the Emporia State faculty members involved in the grant and associate professor in Elementary Education/Early Childhood/Special Education. “One of the goals is to develop extracurricular STEM learning experiences through competitions, challenges, and Science Olympiad events.”

The project includes Emporia State faculty from across disciplines, including Dr. Dusti Howell from Instructional Design and Technology, Chris Pettit from Physical Sciences, and Joseph Kern, an instructional designer in Information Technology.

Principals from each district will attend an orientation and an evaluation session this spring. They will be part of the summer institutes with teachers this June.