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Media Advisory 12-009
Helping U.S. Students "Make the Grade" in Science and Math

Science education experts to share proven practices at University of Illinois-Chicago workshop

Image of two school children with their mouths open looking at a liquid- and gas-filled flask .

Report focuses on current evidence-based solutions for improving STEM education in K-12 schools.
Credit and Larger Version

April 5, 2012

On Tuesday, April 10, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education experts from around the nation and the National Science Foundation (NSF) will convene a workshop at the University of Illinois at Chicago to discuss practices that can be immediately adopted by K-12 schools to help reform STEM education nationally.

In the past two decades, U.S. 15-year-olds have scored lower than the international average on mathematics assessments. They also tend to score at about the international average on science assessments, according to the National Science Board's Science and Engineering Indicators 2012.

Effective teaching and learning of STEM are key to developing a 21st-century workforce and sufficiently informed citizenry. Doing so will be critical for U.S. success in an increasingly knowledge-based and innovation-dependent economy and for addressing grand challenges facing the country. That's the message research and education scientists will convey to an audience of some 300 teachers and school leaders at the "STEM Smart: Lessons Learned From Successful Schools" meeting in Chicago.

Effective STEM instruction, equal access to quality STEM experiences, and support of STEM learning infrastructure are central to next-generation STEM curriculum and student success. These "active ingredients" of successful STEM education comprise the workshop's themes and are derived from the National Research Council's (NRC) NSF-funded report Successful K-12 STEM Education: Identifying Effective Approaches in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

The NRC report recommends evidence-based ways that community stakeholders can improve K-12 STEM education. It identifies effective approaches to STEM education modeled on existing research supported by NSF. New research will inevitably inform improved educational strategies as we continue to unveil, for example, how young children learn science and mathematics in and outside the classroom.

This is the second in a series of NSF regional workshops.  The next two will be held in Nevada and Maryland. Details on the Chicago event follow:

What:STEM Smart: Lessons Learned from Successful Schools
A workshop hosted by the National Science Foundation

When:Tuesday, April 10, 2012, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Where:University of Illinois at Chicago
UIC Forum

Media interested in attending and/or interviewing the educators in attendance should contact Bobbie Mixon at bmixon@nsf.gov (703) 292-8485

A list of presenters, an agenda and further details are on the Successful STEM Education Web site.


Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF, (703) 292-8070, bmixon@nsf.gov

Program Contacts
Janice M. Earle, NSF, (703) 292-5097, jearle@nsf.gov

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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