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Oct. 6, 2015
K-12 educators and school leaders from districts throughout the region gathered Tuesday at Northwest Missouri State University to exchange ideas and discuss ways to advance science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) instruction.
The STEM Excellence Pathway Workshop introduced educators to a STEM pathway rubric developed by the Carnegie Science Center, based in Pittsburgh, to increase effectiveness in STEM education. The workshop also focused on integrating STEM curriculum across disciplines, grade-levels and schools.
The Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway initiative is built on the belief that school systems, individual schools, departments or teachers can improve their STEM education practices through a positive, collaborative approach. It helps schools and teachers adopt best practices with the help of tools and processes for assessing and improving STEM programming, support for profession development and recognition for schools embracing effective STEM education.
During introductory remarks to workshop participants, Northwest Provost Dr. Timothy Mottet discussed the importance of logistics in supply chain management. A business’ success depends on a properly trained and educated workforce, Mottet noted, and STEM education plays a key role.
“It’s important to think about the supply chain,” Mottet said. “Without good K-12, higher ed is not possible. The success that Northwest has had today is in large part the result of quality K-12 education and we benefit from that.”
Northwest recognized the importance of investing in STEM education decades ago and established its Northwest’s Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing in 2000 with the help of state Mission Enhancement funding.
The Missouri Academy accepts high-performing high school students who have completed the 10th grade. Missouri Academy Dean Dr. Cleo Samudzi said the program creates “a sanctuary” for them on the Northwest campus where they work through a rigorous academic program of college coursework taught by Northwest instructors.
“Missouri Academy students sit in the same classrooms with traditional Northwest students,” Samudzi said. “The coursework is very demanding, it’s engaging and yet it’s flexible.”
Students who complete the two-year program receive an Associate of Science degree as well as their high school diploma. Samudzi noted 100 percent of Missouri Academy graduates advance to complete baccalaureate degrees at four-year institutions and almost 60 percent of graduates go on to complete masters and doctoral degrees.
“This is an indicator to us that something is working and it’s working well,” Samudzi said, adding that 85 percent of graduates continue in to study and work in STEM areas, largely because of the strong foundational education they received in the subject area.
Northwest hosted the STEM Excellence Pathway Workshop in partnership with the Missouri Mathematics and Science Coalition, the Carnegie Science Center and the Northwest Missouri Regional Professional Development Center as well as Missouri Academy. The Missouri Mathematics and Science Coalition is a branch of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Additional sponsorships and support for the workshop came from United Electric Cooperative Inc., Kawasaki, White Cloud Engineering Civil and Environmental Services, KC STEM Alliance, Mind Research Institute, Missouri Afterschool Network, Missouri Chamber Foundation, Project Lead the Way, Washington University, STEMpact, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and eMINTS.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468