Funding, Grants & Awards | News

UNC Greensboro Tackles STEM Teacher Support with ED Funding

The United States Department of Education has awarded the University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG) a $7.7 million grant, to be disbursed over the next five years, to recruit, train and support local teachers of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The university will get approximately $1.6 million each year from the federal government to team up with four elementary, two middle and one high school in Guilford and Forsyth counties, beginning this fall.

In each school, UNCG will install a tailor-made Makerspace, a technology workshop based on the theory that students learn most effectively by making things, along with all the necessary technology. Beginning next summer, the university will host a summer Maker Camp with a new Makerspace on the third floor of the School of Education.

UNCG students, including graduate students at its Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, will act as content experts for classroom teachers to advance learning about technology and high school students will be recruited to be summer camp counselors.

"The project is not all about specific cutting-edge technology, because that changes," said Christina O'Connor, who will direct the project for UNCG. "It's about how we can use technology to better prepare teachers so that students become more creative and more innovative, and learn by doing."

The program will act as a hands-on training ground for the university's teacher candidates and as a way to recruit future STEM teachers, a major initiative of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

O'Connor said, "We are currently preparing students for jobs that don't yet exist, using technologies that haven't been invented, in order to solve problems we don't even know are problems yet."

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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