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UA researchers awarded $7m grant from NSF.

The National Science Foundation announced last week that it has awarded University of Arkansas researchers a five-year, $7 million grant to create alliances between K-12 teachers and university faculty in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.

Gay Stewart, the principal investigator of the grant, and co-principal investigator Bernard Madison will work with their core university partner, the College of Education at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, as well as teachers in 33 school districts in Arkansas and Oklahoma, in a focused effort to prepare students for college-level courses in the sciences. The initiative proposed by Stewart and Madison is called the "College Ready in Math and Physics Partnership."

"This major grant will allow our faculty and their partners to reach across a two-state region and support teachers at every grade level, from kindergarten through high school," William Schwab, interim dean of the I. William Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences, said in a news release.

Stewart, an associate professor of physics, and Madison, professor of mathematics, both in the Fulbright College, are joined on the project by three other co-principal investigators: Shannon Dingman, assistant professor of mathematics at the university; John Jones, dean of the College of Education at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith; and Pete Joenks, assistant principal at Springdale High School.

"In the College Ready program, we intend to build learning communities of school and college faculty, help high school students be prepared to succeed in college and make effective learning materials available to students," Stewart said. "Ultimately, the program should lead to decreases in the number of students who come to college needing remedial classes as well as increases in the number of students who are enrolling in advanced placement math and physics courses."

Madison said he intends to oversee efforts to revise the mathematics program for preparing secondary teachers as well as the master's degree in secondary mathematics.

The College Ready Partnership program, which will begin Jan. 1, will include several physics and math faculty who will lead workshops and teach content courses for in-service teachers.
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Title Annotation:EDUCATION
Author:Riggin, Amy
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Oct 6, 2008
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