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Initiative: Plan, pilot and launch the Marshall/West Virginia Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) Academy, including a West Virginia Virtual STEM Academy to serve the entire state.

Potential STEM Center Areas of Focus

Integration with 21st Century Skills—The Center will develop instructional strategies, curriculum materials, and assessments in STEM fields that can be integrated into the 21st Century Skills Framework. (Possible partner: State Department of Education).

Professional development—The Center will provide current math and science teachers from across West Virginia with research-based professional development in math and science pedagogy, including strategies for vertical teaming between math and science teachers from different grade levels. (Possible partners: Center for Professional Development; State Department of Education).

Content knowledge and clinical experiences—The Center will increase the math and science content knowledge and clinical experiences of teacher candidates at Marshall University. Based on ongoing research and evaluation of this work, the Center will offer technical assistance and coordinate demonstration projects for other teacher education programs. (Possible partners: Benedum Foundation; Benedum Collaborative; West Virginia Partnerships for Teaching Quality).

Academic enrichment—The Center will create and/or support STEM academic enrichment activities for students (including underrepresented student populations) across West Virginia, including access to Advanced Placement courses in math and science. (Possible partners: EPSCoR; Governor's Schools for Math and Science; Engineering Academy; Center for Professional Development, The College Board).

Research clearinghouse—The Center will conduct and/or cooperate with research studies to test the effectiveness of different teaching and learning strategies in STEM fields and disseminate the results of these studies (and results from studies done by others) through workshops, conferences, and publications. (Possible partner: Edvantia).

Liaison with external organizations—The Center will serve as a liaison with regional and national organizations with an interest in STEM issues. One example is the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), which has done extensive work on the factors affecting mathematics achievement for students in rural schools. (Possible partners: SREB; Education Commission of the States; National Governors Association; National Science Teachers Association; National Council of Teachers of Mathematics).

Grantwriting—The Center will identify grant opportunities and initiate the development of grant proposals to local, state, federal, and private sources in support of STEM education activities. The Center will also provide technical assistance and coordination to other entities (K-12 schools, county school offices, RESAs, institutions of higher education) applying for STEM-related grants. (Possible partners: Benedum Foundation; Edvantia; EPSCoR; National Science Foundation).

Public outreach—The Center will conduct outreach to parents, policymakers, business leaders, the media, and the general public about the importance of STEM education through public service announcements, forums, newsletters, and seminars. (Possible partners: Legislature; Education Alliance; Business Roundtable; Parent-Teacher Associations; Local School Improvement Councils)

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