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Every month the STEM Education Center will highlight one of its many outstanding graduate students who work hard to improve the field of STEM Education.

This month the STEM Education Center would like to spotlight- Emily Dare

Emily has received a B.S. and M.S. in Physics and will receive her Ph.D. in the spring of 2015. She is currently working on the EngrTEAMS project where she works with eleven elementary and middle school teachers to create integrated STEM modules that the teachers bring into their classrooms and later publish onto a nation-wide website for other K-12 teachers to use. Emily is also working with the St. Paul science coaches to conduct classroom observations of all of their science teachers in an effort to understand the needs these teachers have that will be addressed in district-wide summer professional development sessions. Born in Somers Point, New Jersey, Emily dreamed of owning an art shop and grew to love the color green. Emily is the proud parent of a retired greyhound named Bernie and is often nicknamed Em. Her favorite food is any kind of cheese and her favorite place to visit in Minneapolis/St. Paul, besides the STEM Education Center, is the restaurant Pannekoeken Huis. Lastly, is Emily could have one super power she would like to fly. The STEM Education Center would like to thank Emily for her accomplishments and contributions to our research and we are happy to have her as a part of the team.

Read about out other highlighted graduate students here


The North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District will be taking its Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) program to the next level, thanks to two grants totaling $350,000 from the 3M Foundation.

In December, the 3M Foundation Board approved District 622's request to fund a comprehensive K-12 STEM program, including equipment for Fabrication Labs (FabLabs) at both North and Tartan high schools.

The funding will allow District 622 to expand its successful elementary STEM program and incorporate new classes and new opportunities at both the middle and high schools.

Included in the $350,000 is a $66,000 grant from Project Lead The Way (PLTW), the nation's leading STEM program.

Beginning next fall, students in grades sixth and seventh will all take the PLTW Modeling and Design course. Eighth grade students will also have the opportunity to take this course as an elective. Additional PLTW courses will be added in subsequent years.

At the high school level, an engineering focus will be added to the required ninth grade science course during the 2014-2015 school year. The District will also begin the process of exploring options for creating FabLabs at both North and Tartan high schools.

FabLabs allow students to use hands-on, state-of-the-art technology including 3D printers, laser engravers and plasma routers. $200,000 of the grant funds from 3M will be used to purchase FabLab equipment for the two high schools.

This summer, District science teachers will begin training on curriculum for the new courses. The training is being provided through a partnership with the University of Minnesota's STEM Education Center.

"In just one year of implementing the STEM curriculum at our elementary schools we have seen incredible academic growth for our students in the area of science," said Superintendent Patty Phillips. "I am thrilled that the 3M Foundation is providing us with a way to extend that success for all students."

STEM Spotlight- Laura Fox

February 7, 2014

Every Month the STEM Education Center will highlight one of its many outstanding graduate students who work hard to improve the field of STEM Education.

This month the STEM Education Center would like to spotlight- Laura Fox

Laura Fox has received her B.S. and an M.S. in Chemistry and is pursing her PhD in Chemistry Education through the Curriculum and Instruction department. Her research revolves around improving teaching practices and student understanding in general and physical chemistry. Born in West Chester, PA, Laura is the proud owner of two unique cats, Cedric and Delaware. Laura's favorite food is her dad's Italian home cooking and her favorite place to go in Minneapolis is a social dance studio for a night of swing dancing. If Laura had one super power, it would be to apparate like Harry Potter and her favorite color is green. Ms. Fox is a valued member of the STEM Education Center team and we look forward to her many successes to come.

Read about out other highlighted graduate students here

The Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (CASCW) is now accepting applications for Title IV-E funding from prospective and current Master of Social Work students who are interested in child welfare.

Federal Social Security Title IV-E funds subsidize child welfare services to keep children in their families when possible, provide permanency planning services, or finance out-of-home placement. Public child welfare services are those provided by state or county child protection, foster care, adoption, and family services agencies.

By providing Title IV-E educational support to MSW students, CASCW seeks to improve the quality of public child welfare services. Students who receive this support follow child welfare-specific curriculum requirements, including selecting Family and Children as a primary concentration. Students also attend CASCW meetings, forums, and experiential learning events to further their knowledge, and seek and accept post-graduate employment in a public child welfare setting.

Financial support varies each year, depending upon CASCW's access to federal matching funds. Generally financial support amounts to $5,000 per semester for three or four semesters depending on student program. Stipend awards are contingent upon the Center's receipt of Title IV-E funding. The Title IV-E budget and University educational costs for 2014-15 are not known at this time.

To apply, please visit our Title IV-E Stipend Information webpage.

If you have questions regarding Title IV-E educational support, please contact Liz Snyder at

1532074_10152043748059279_2082134850_n.jpgCoached by new head coach Amanda Gaines, the University of Minnesota Dance Team won its fifth College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship this past weekend. Senior and kinesiology student Grace Gerring spoke highly of teammates and coaches commenting, "It has been such an enjoyable experience, and I couldn't have done it without amazing coaches and teammates standing by me every step of the way." Gerring, a member of the team for four years, said the coaches have spent the year perfecting the basics and remembering why they began dancing.

Douglas KennedyDouglas Kennedy is a recipient of the Mestenhauser Student Award for Excellence in Campus Internationalization. Mr. Kennedy is a Ph.D. student in the comparative and international development education (CIDE) track in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD).

Joan DejaeghereJoan DeJaeghere (associate professor) and Alex Liuzzi (CIDE Ph.D. student) from the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), presented on global institutions, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, to 8th graders at the Twin Cities German Immersion School, as part of their interdisciplinary study of globalization. Students engaged in discussions around the effects that these institutions have on people's daily lives, including an example of a project to improve education through information and communication technologies.

On January 20, 2014 Robin Sakamoto was appointed as the Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Studies for Kyorin University located on the Hachioji campus in Tokyo, Japan. She may be the first foreign woman to hold the post of dean in a highly respected Japanese university.

STEM Education Center's Ying-Chih Chen will be awarded the 2014 NARST Outstanding Paper Award for his paper, "Tracing Elementary Students' Use of Talk and Writing for Knowledge Development through Argument-Based Inquiry". Chen will be presented with a plaque at the Awards Luncheon held during the 2014 NARST International conference on April 1st, 2014 in Pittsburgh, PA.

Ying-Chih Chen will also be receiving the Jhumki Basu Equity Scholars Award at the 2014 NARST International conference. Chen will present his research at the Jhumki Basu Scholars Symposium and receive his award at that time. He is also encouraged to attend the Equity and Ethics Committee Pre-conference workshop for scholars from underrepresented groups as well as other Equity and Ethics events.

Please join us in congratulating Ying-Chih Chen on his hard work and well-deserved honors!

LeeH-2013.jpgHee Yun Lee, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Social Work, and Dr. Melissa Geller, gynecologic oncologist at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, received the Ovarian Cancer Pilot Award from the U.S. Department of Defense Health Program. The overall goal of the award is to eliminate ovarian cancer by supporting innovative, high-impact research.

Lee and Geller were awarded $225,000 over two years for the project, which aims to develop and assess an intervention using mobile phone technology to promote genetic counseling among women with ovarian cancer and their families.

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