Rose-Hulman Gets State Grant for More Vigo County STEM Education Projects

Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Teachers participating in a STEM activity

Since 2008, PRISM has collaborated with VCSC officials to integrate STEM education initiatives into kindergarten through 12th grade programs through teacher resources and workshops.

A $40,500 grant from the Indiana Department of Education’s Math and Science Partnership will build upon a successful education relationship in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) between Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s Portal Resource for Indiana Science and Mathematics (PRISM) program and Vigo County School Corporation.

PRISM will provide Vigo County teachers with a curated digital library featuring more than 4,000 educational STEM resource materials for all kindergarten through 12th grade levels. These resources will provide classroom and laboratory simulations, animated text, virtual laboratories, and process models, along with items for advanced inquiry-based instruction.

The materials will be indexed using VCSC grade-level pacing guides, mapping the digital resources within classroom instruction.

PRISM Director Pat Carlson states program staff will assist the VCSC curriculum coordinator and district math director with eight after-school workshops for 200 elementary, middle school and high school teachers. The sessions will assist educators in integrating the computer-mediated STEM resources with specific content and competencies that have been identified in the district’s pacing guides.

There also will be training for three school math coaches.

Since 2008, PRISM has collaborated with VCSC officials to integrate STEM education initiatives into kindergarten through 12th grade programs impacting approximately 50,400 students. Over the past eight years, the partnership has been enhanced through more than $2.5 million in IDOE math and science project grants. These summer programs have provided approximately 1,000 hours of instruction by more than 25 Rose-Hulman professors.

Vigo County students have benefitted through a better understanding of STEM course materials, according to Carlson. In fact, VCSC officials report that district students have ranked either first or second in math for the past five years, when compared to students within the Indiana Urban School Association. In 2017, VCSC students had the highest performance in science within the association.

Carlson and PRISM educational liaison Bob Jackson and assistant director/system administrator Ryan Smith are currently working with Elsum Seung, associate professor of Indiana State University’s Center for Science Education, in providing Moodle training sessions for prospective teachers. Most of these candidates are scheduled to begin VCSC student teaching assignments this year.

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