History of STEM

The Institute is an outgrowth of a Science After School Task Force (SAS) established to consider how it might be possible for Western Massachusetts teachers to take science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, courses at the University. The task force included faculty and staff from the University and from area schools. SAS soon discovered that there were related issues waiting to be addressed, including preservice teacher education. SAS also learned that there are many members of the University community working in the area of K14 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. These groups are spread across the campus in various departments and in many cases are not aware of other local programs related to their own interests.

The Institute was formed to bring these people together, facilitating joint efforts and avoiding unnecessary duplication. Above all, the Institute was formed to play a major role in meeting the University's goals in academic outreach, teaching and learning, research, diversity, and multiculturalism. The effects of coordinating these efforts will increase the opportunities to obtain external grants and to allow the University to play a leadership role in the national and state efforts to reform and improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

The population served by the Institute includes students in elementary and secondary school and their teachers, community college, college, and university students enrolled in introductory science, technology, engineering, and mathematics courses, college students interested in education or issues concerning learning, and college and university faculty and staff.

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