The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is awarding grants totaling more than $2.5 million to 11 partnerships between school divisions, colleges and universities to increase content knowledge and sharpen classroom skills of teachers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics – subject areas known collectively as “STEM.”
The awards were made through VDOE’s Mathematics and Science Partnership grant competition, which was announced last September. School divisions and institutions of higher education were encouraged to submit proposals to create partnerships that would provide professional development to teachers. Focus of the professional development proposals included supporting the implementation of the 2009 Mathematics Standards of Learning and the Mathematics Performance Expectations, developed as part of Virginia’s College-and-Career-Readiness Initiative; implementation of 2010 Science Standards of Learning; and integrated STEM related to the engineering design process, scientific methodology, mathematical problem solving and engineering applications.
More than $1 million was awarded to fund the following five mathematics projects:
- Building Fundamental Mathematics for Number Sense: Enhancing Virginia K-2 Standards of Learning and Assessment Center for Outreach in Mathematics Professional Learning and Educational Technology – $215,997 for George Mason University (GMU) and six school divisions — Alexandria, Fairfax County, Manassas, Prince William County, Falls Church and Petersburg — to serve 90 teachers.
- Modeling Mathematical Ideas for Rational Numbers and Proportional Reasoning: Teaching and Assessing Virginia Grades 6-8 Mathematics SOL – $222,040 for GMU and six school divisions — Alexandria, Fairfax County, Manassas, Prince William County, Falls Church and Petersburg — to serve 90 teachers.
- Secondary Mathematics Professional Development Center – $221,953 for Radford University; Virginia Commonwealth University, 31 school divisions — Bedford County, Botetourt County, Buchanan County, Carroll County, Chesterfield County, Colonial Heights, Craig County, Floyd County, Franklin County, Giles County, Grayson County, Hanover County, Henrico County, Henry County, King & Queen County, King William County, Montgomery County, Newport News, Norton, Patrick County, Pittsylvania County, Powhatan County, Pulaski County, Radford, Richmond, Roanoke, Roanoke County, Salem, Washington County, Wise County and Wythe County — and two schools —- the Piedmont Governor’s School for Mathematics Science & Technology and St. Catherine’s School — to serve 130 teachers.
- Teaching the 2009 Mathematics SOL in Grades 3-5 Across Southern Virginia —$239,804 for Longwood University’s Institute for Teaching through Technology & Innovative Practices (ITTIP) and 13 school divisions — Brunswick County, Charlotte County, Cumberland County, Danville, Greensville County, Lunenburg County, Mecklenburg County, Nottoway County, Pittsylvania County, Prince Edward County, Prince George County, Southampton County and Sussex County — to serve 90 teachers.
- 21st-Century Teaching Leads to 21st-Century Learning: Functions Algebra Project – $200,000 for University of Virginia (UVA) and 16 school divisions — Albemarle County, Alexandria, Arlington County, Campbell County, Charlottesville, Culpeper County, Fauquier County, Fluvanna County, Frederick County, Gloucester County, Loudoun County, Page County, Spotsylvania County, Stafford County, Staunton and Westmoreland County — to serve 55 teachers.
More than $900,000 was awarded to fund the following five science projects:
- Contemporary Teaching of Science and the Nature of Science Grades K-5 – $220,000 for Emory & Henry College, the Southwest Virginia Public Education Consortium and 16 school divisions — Bland County, Bristol, Buchanan County, Carroll County, Dickenson County, Galax, Grayson County, Lee County, Norton, Russell County, Scott County, Smyth County, Tazewell County, Washington County, Wise County and Wythe County — to serve 40 teachers.
- Integrating Nature of Science and Physical Science in Instruction in Rural Schools – $74,076 for Longwood University’s Cooke’s College of Arts & Sciences and ITTIP and 10 school divisions — Amelia County, Brunswick County, Charlotte County, Cumberland County, Danville County, Dinwiddie County, Halifax County, Mecklenburg County, Patrick County and Pittsylvania County — to serve 20 teachers.
- Introduction to Inquiry: A Professional Development Model to Reform Teacher Practices – $137,726 for Sweet Briar College, five school divisions — Amherst County, Appomattox County, Bedford County, Nelson County and Prince Edward County— and two schools — Holy Cross Regional Catholic School and James River Day School — to serve 150 teachers.
- Learning Enhanced through the Nature of Science: An Inter-Disciplinary Sustainable Professional Development Model for High School Science – $249,059 for Old Dominion University Research Foundation, Tidewater Community College and Virginia Beach Public Schools to serve 48 teachers.
- Light Optics, Electricity and Magnetism Home Lab Activities – $235,630 for UVA, Virginia School-University Partnership, Jefferson Science Associates LLC and six school divisions — Albemarle County, Charlottesville, Fauquier County, Hampton, Newport News and Roanoke — to serve 48 teachers.
The Virginia STEM Collaborative Nurturing Network to Enhance Content-focused Teaching, was awarded $500,000 to serve 174 teachers statewide. Led by Longwood University, the partnership includes the College of William and Mary, GMU, James Madison University, Longwood University, Old Dominion University, UVA and Virginia Tech; the American Council of Engineering Companies of Virginia, Southwest Virginia Public Education Consortium, Virginia Association of Science Teachers, Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Virginia Mathematics & Science Consortium, Virginia Space Grant Consortium and Virginia Public Television; 33 school divisions — Alexandria, Amelia County, Brunswick County, Charlotte County, Chesterfield County, Colonial Heights, Cumberland County, Dinwiddie County, Fairfax County, Gloucester County, Greensville County, Halifax County, Hampton, Hanover County, Harrisonburg, Henrico County, King William County, Manassas, Mecklenburg County, Newport News, Nottoway County, Page County, Patrick County, Pittsylvania County, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Powhatan County, Prince William County, Richmond, Rockingham County, Suffolk, Williamsburg-James City County and York County; two schools — the Governor’s Academy for Innovation, Technology & Engineering and the Governor’s School at Innovation Park — and the MathScience Innovation Center.
Mathematics and Science Partnership grants are authorized by Title II, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (also known as No Child Left Behind). The grant program is designed to improve instruction by encouraging partnerships between institutions of higher education and school divisions to provide opportunities for mathematics and science teachers to increase subject-matter knowledge and improve classroom skills.