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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

From: www.lillienews.com

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

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!


Dr. Tamara Moore of the STEM Education Center will be awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. This award is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. Dr. Moore will receive her award during a ceremony held in Washington, D.C., in the coming year.

Dr. Moore is currently the principal investigator of an 8 million dollar grant awarded by the National Science Foundation titled EngrTEAMS: Engineering to Transform the Education of Analysis, Measurement, and Science in a Team-Based Targeted Mathematics-Science Partnership. The grant is one of the many Dr. Moore has been awarded while at the STEM Education Center. To learn more about EngrTEAMS click here.

The Presidential Early Career Awards embody the high priority the Obama Administration places on producing outstanding scientists and engineers to advance the Nation's goals, tackle grand challenges, and contribute to the American economy.

"The impressive achievements of these early-stage scientists and engineers are promising indicators of even greater successes ahead," President Obama said. "We are grateful for their commitment to generating the scientific and technical advancements that will ensure America's global leadership for many years to come."

For more information about this award please read the official press release from the White House.

Dr. Karl Smith, Co-Director of the STEM Education Center, will speak at the Board on Science Education's winter meeting in Irvine CA on January 16th-17th, 2014. The Board on Science Education is interested in exploring what is known about preparing undergraduate college students for team science, including areas of overlap between the general goals of undergraduate STEM education and the competencies required for team science. Relating to his experiences working at the University of Minnesota, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and other institutions, Dr. Karl Smith will discuss the characteristics of and relationship between high performance teamwork and high quality learning environments as well as theoretical, conceptual and empirical foundations to teams such as the social interdependence theory & social cognitive theory.

For more information on the Board of Science Education please visit their website.

The STEM Education Center would like to congratulate Shiyu Liu and Devarati Bhattacharya for receiving the 2014 Jhumki Basu Equity Scholars Award presented by the NARST Equity and Ethics Committee.

The award includes a $700 stipend for travel expenses to attend the 2014 NARST International conference in Pittsburgh, PA, March 30-April 2, 2014. Both Shiyu and Devarati will present their research at the Jhumki Basu Scholars Symposium held during the conference and will receive their award at this time. They are 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 our hard working graduate students!

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 Sousada Chidthachack

Sousada Chidthachack received her BA in Mathematics and her MA in Curriclum and Instruction from the University of St. Thomas and is working on her Ph.D. in STEM Education at the University of Minnesota. Her projected date of graduation is December 2015 and she works on both the EngrTEAMS and Prepare2Nspire grants in the STEM Education Center. Born in Nakhom Phanom, Thailand, Sousada dreamed of being a reporter for E!News or National Geographic or a talk show host like Oprah. Sousada is the proud owner of a tan pit-bull/boxer named Magnum Rambo who she likes to take to Lake Calhoun and Uptown, her favorite places in Minneapolis. Her favorite color is red and she loves Asian cuisine, more specifically sushi, papaya salad and pad thai. Lastly, if Sousada had one super power it would be to wipe out all student debt for all deserving students. The STEM Education Center is proud to have Sousada Chidthachack as a member of the team, her hard work and dedication to STEM Education is much appreciated.

Learn More about Sousada here

The STEM Spectrum- January Edition is here!

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Dr. Frances Lawrenz, affiliated faculty member to the STEM Educaton Center, has been awarded the 2014 NARST Distinguished Contributions to Science Education through Research Award. This award is presented to recognize an individual who, through research over an extended period of time, has made outstanding and continuing contributions, provided notable leadership, and made a substantial impact in the area of science education. Dr. Lawrenz will be presented with a plaque at the NARST Awards Luncheon on April 1st, 2014 at the NARST Conference in Pittsburgh, PA.

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