Mines receives $2.5 million toward K-5 education initiative

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Mines receives $2.5 million toward K-5 education initiative

GOLDEN, Colo., Jan. 11, 2008 – A $2.5 million challenge grant from Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr. will help Colorado School of Mines kick off a new education initiative aimed at engaging elementary age children in science and math.

Mr. Bechtel, retired chairman and director of Bechtel Group, Inc., a worldwide engineering and construction business, supports the conviction that an early focus on science and math education is critically important in developing a strong, innovative society.
 
The Bechtel K-5 Educational Excellence Initiative aims to:
  • Determine why K-5 students lose interest in mathematics and science and how the trend can be reversed or prevented
  • Create K-5 programs that promote interest in mathematics, science and engineering
  • Create pre-service and in-service programs that improve elementary teachers’ competence and confidence in their mathematical and scientific knowledge and increase their use of hands-on instruction in the classroom
The grant, payable over five years, will help educators focus on improving science and mathematics instruction in kindergarten through fifth grade in Adams County District 50 and Aurora Public Schools.
 

“Engaging elementary students in science and math is a growing component of Mines’ outreach mission. This initiative will help promote interest in these crucial subjects and will help teachers create effective instruction strategies that can be used in schools nationwide,” said Mines President M.W. “Bill” Scoggins.

The grant begins in January 2008 and will span a five-year period. The first seven months will consist of planning, after which Mines researchers will work with the participating school districts to identify and address their needs. Mines graduate students will have the opportunity to assist in the classroom by fall semester 2008.
 

The Colorado School of Mines Foundation is working to raise $2.5 million in matching funds over the course of the grant.

 
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Oliver Grenham, director of elementary education at Adams County School District 50:

“Our involvement with this partnership will serve to enhance the overall academic achievement of our students in science and math and encourage them to think seriously about a career in the scientific arena.”

 

Tony Van Gytenbeek, deputy superintendent of Aurora Public Schools:

“The graduate students placed in our classrooms will bring a high level of content knowledge and provide our students additional role models for the study of science and mathematics.”

 

Barb Moskal, Mines associate professor in mathematical and computer sciences and director of the Center for the Assessment of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics:

“Our basic premise is that if K-12 students learn about exciting applications of science, mathematics and engineering, they are more likely to enter the related fields. They need to become involved in real experiments and not just read about them in a book.”

 
 
-MINES-
 
Contact: Karen Gilbert | 303-273-3541 | Karen.Gilbert@is.mines.edu

 


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