STEM in Action-GK 12

In my recent posts we have talked about the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) in the curriculum of our schools and in the workplace and we have also talked about one highly-successful STEM program the ACE Mentor program.  Today’s post will highlight another great STEM initiative, the GK-12 initiative funded by the (NSF).

Here is a very high-level description of GK-12 from the NSF/GK12 site:

The NSF Graduate STEM Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12) Program supports fellowships and training for graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Through interactions with teachers and students in K-12 schools, graduate fellows can improve communication and teaching skills while enriching STEM content and instruction for their K-12 partners.

I have had the honor and enjoyment of working with a GK-12 program based in the Nashville, TN area     and run through Middle Tennessee State University.  This program includes students from MTSU and also from TSU-Tennessee State University.  There are also 4 other GK-12 programs ongoing within our state.

The title of our GK-12 program is “Reforming Graduate Education by Integrating Teaching, Research, and Industry Applications to Deepen Scientific Understanding.”  We kicked off another year in the program last week by having the fellows and their partner teachers spend time in the classroom    where they learned more about one another and themselves and they then spent a second day in industry seeing how their knowledge can be applied in the private sector.  Each of the fellows will then spend time this year in the classroom of high schools in this area working with students to deepen and enrich their experience in one of many areas of the biological science world.

I will spend time throughout the year with the fellows helping them to become more professional and aware of what they need to be prepared for when they enter the world of work.  I will also strive to help them better learn how to prepare their CV or resume and also help to equip them with tools to aid in networking for their next role.

GK-12 is in danger of not being funded in future years, but I can say from personal experience that the fellows I have worked with have learned a great deal from their time in this broad-based program.

Our next conversation will be about the MathCounts     program.  I’ll be back with that later this week.