Date: October 6, 2009
Department: News & Public Information
Led by the UMass Dartmouth Kaput Center for Research and Innovation in STEM Education, the event will highlight:
* A keynote speech entitled, "What is STEM Education?" by UMass System President Jack Wilson, who has positioned the five-campus system as a statewide innovation powerhouse.
* Announcement of $2.2 million of National Science Foundation grants to the Center to develop new strategies to teach high level math elementary school students.
* Establishment of a new doctoral degree in mathematics education within the new STEM department at the university.
* Signing of partnership agreements with university systems in Mexico, Brazil and Cyprus to support student exchange programs and to internationalize research innovations developed at the Kaput STEM Center.
"It is imperative that we understand the opportunities that moving from a local to a global education offers us'' said Center Director Dr. Stephen Hegedus. "Our mission is focused on long-term research and innovation programs to transform the way our children learn mathematics and science with the most effective technologies."
Faculty at the Kaput STEM Center have received $6.5 million in grants from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences over the last 5 years.
New projects focus on the development and exploration of new technologies that allow students atvery young ages to "touch and feel" complex mathematical and scientific ideas as well as beginning a new phase of research that focuses on documenting the benefits of algebra in the elementary grades on students' success in later grades.
The doctoral program, which began this fall, addresses the acute shortage of STEM education researchers and creative thinkers in our nation. "Our doctoral program will offer innovative answers to our educational needs by providing future mathematics educators with the educational infrastructure and advanced research training to become creative thinkers and leaders in the field of mathematics education,'' said Dr. Ismael Ramirez-Soto, dean of the School of Education, Public Policy and Civic Engagement.