Georgia Southern University has established a new institute for interdisciplinary science, technology, engineering and math education that will support thematic grant writing, research and outreach. The institute focuses on primary, secondary and higher-education STEM teaching and learning with an emphasis on rural and diverse populations.
“Georgia Southern University is not only committed to increasing the numbers of those entering STEM fields, but also to creating an environment where our citizens are more STEM literate and can make informed decisions about complex issues,” GSU President Dr. Brooks Keel said.
The announcement comes on the heels of a White House initiative to create a new national STEM master teacher corps and a focus on increased funding that allows school districts to identify, develop and leverage STEM teachers.
“This new institute will not only support a strategic and important national initiative, but it will position Georgia Southern to play an important role as we work to inspire Georgia’s best and brightest K-12 students to pursue STEM careers,” Keel said.
The Institute will create partnerships across academia, business, education and research centers in Southeast Georgia, support professional development, outreach, curricular development, the creation of innovative courses and research in STEM education through grant-funded projects.
“Georgia Southern has a track record in developing programs that serve the special needs of our region, a largely rural and ethnically diverse area,” said Dr. Charles Patterson, vice president of research and dean of the Jack N. Averitt College of Graduate Studies. “Our goal is to provide greater access for rural and underserved populations to science, technology, engineering and math by helping these students to pursue degrees and careers in those areas.”
The STEM institute is being established through a collaboration of core partners: the Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Information Technology, the college of science and mathematics, the college of education and the college of liberal arts and social sciences.