Missouri Middle School Teachers to Get STEM Literacy Support
A new NIH grant will support a program in Missouri that aims to couple STEM learning with language arts to improve literacy even as students work on hands-on projects.
- By Joshua Bolkan
A researcher at the University of Missouri has been awarded $1.25 million by the National Institutes of Health to work toward improving STEM literacy in state middle schools.
Part of the Science Education Partnership Award, the grant will support a five-year initiative lead by William Folk, professor of biochemistry, and Delinda Van Garderen, professor and director of graduate studies in the department of special education.
A portion of the funding will go toward reading materials and workshops for approximately 45 teachers beginning in the summer. Participating teachers will be observed and assessed throughout the following school year.
"Our goals are to provide materials that are current and interesting that teachers can use in strengthening the literacy of students, [as well as] providing reading materials [and] exercises in writing accompanied by science inquiry activities [and] hands-on activities," Folk said, according to a report in the university's student paper.
"This text set approach is going to allow students to engage in not just one textbook approach, but being able to look at the way information can come about through lots of different types of text, and I think that is what's really interesting is this intentional use of text sets," said Amy Lannin, professor in the MU College of Education and participant in the project, according to the Maneater report.
"One of the other unique things about the project itself is that it is blending what we do in science with the English language arts and we are also involving special education teachers," Lannin added. "I find that when I am at the table with people from different disciplines like that, it definitely sparks a lot more understanding about learning and how to support students as well as teachers."
Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.