ExxonMobil links Mines to elementary math, science, energy education
GOLDEN, Colo., July 2, 2009 – Colorado School of Mines will play an active role in improving elementary mathematics and science education and teacher training for the Meeker School District thanks to a $240,000 grant from Exxon Mobil Corporation.
The three-year grant will provide funding to Mines’ Center for the Assessment of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to develop a collaboration to improve K-5 mathematics and science in the Meeker district. The program will support elementary school faculty to attend summer workshops at Mines focused on applications related to energy and renewable energy concepts – areas in which Mines has extensive expertise through the Renewable Energy Materials Research Science and Engineering Center. The first week of the workshop will focus on traditional sources of energy, such as natural gas, and the second week on renewable sources. Teachers will learn the important, integrated role that each form of energy has in matching our nation’s current and future energy needs.
Barb Moskal, Mines mathematical and computer sciences professor and director of the Center for the Assessment of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, noted this partnership will extend opportunities already available to local school districts through the Bechtel K-5 Education Excellence Initiative.
“There is currently a crisis at all levels in mathematics and science education. Students are not reaching the desired level of attainment and few students select to pursue majors that require in-depth knowledge of these subjects. Many students become discouraged before they reach middle school, long before they understand the important applications of these fields,” Moskal said.
This grant will allow Meeker teachers the opportunity to receive online educational support and training as well as access to Mines facilities throughout the academic year. In addition, Mines scientists, engineers and graduate students will visit and engage elementary school students via interactive video link.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is also participating in this project through its collaboration with Mines’ current K-5 outreach efforts.
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