STEMteachersNYC and Partners Win $195,000 Grant Innovative Response to President Obama's Computer Science for All Challenge

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STEMteachersNYC received a $195,00 grant from 100Kin10, announced this morning at the White House Science Fair. The project will equip 9th grade physical science teachers with the skills and curriculum to integrate computational thinking into their classrooms.

Teachers use bathroom scales to exert forces on each other. Computer proves the forces are always equal and opposite.

Teachers experience Newton's Thrid Law

"We chose to fund this project because of its integrated solution to the challenge of eliminating barriers to computer science and engineering." Maya Lundhagen, Co-Founder, 100Kin10

○ Integrates computer programming with 9th Grade Physics
○ Helps combat inequality of STEM educational opportunity
○ Creates better STEM teachers and new STEM curriculum

STEMteachersNYC announced that the organization was selected to receive a $195,000 grant from 100Kin10, a STEM education network, to fund its project to equip physical science teachers with the skills and curriculum needed to integrate computational thinking into their classrooms. The project is a collaboration of STEMteachersNYC with the American Modeling Teachers Association, the American Association of Physics Teachers, and the Bootstrap project. The grant was one of 10 grants announced this morning by 100Kin10 at the White House Science Fair, awarded to expand the reach and quality of engineering and computer science education across New York State.

The project, entitled “Modeling Physics, Computational Thinking, & Bootstrap,” helps students understand basic physics concepts by incorporating computer programming as one of the key tools for building models of the physical world.

Targeted to ninth grade, during which every student is expected to take science, this initiative is designed to spark students’ interest in subjects related to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) for the rest of their academic careers. This initiative also combats a root cause of inequality of opportunity in pursuing STEM careers: disparate access to quality teaching in middle and high school.

“We chose to fund this project from among many applicants because of its integrated solution to the challenge of eliminating barriers to computer science and engineering. Bringing together the expertise of three of our partners and a fourth collaborator is a real source of strength, and we look forward to success in ninth-grade classrooms across NY State,” said Maya Lundhagen, 100Kin10 Co-Founder and Director of Partner Commitments and Growth.

The project will be led by STEMteachersNYC, an organization dedicated to training teachers to use highly-effective teaching methodologies to get students engaged in mastering the critical STEM subjects. The two-year project will involve 21 teachers in writing curriculum modules which they will test with about 1,000 students each year.

STEMteachersNYC will organize the project workshops, to be held at Teachers College, Columbia University. The result will be a hands-on, inquiry-based pedagogy supported by a set of tested, engaging curriculum modules for teachers around the country to use in their classrooms. After the project period, all four project partners plan to promulgate the approach through professional development workshops.

Dr. Fernand Brunschwig, President of STEMteachersNYC, said, “We are very excited to be chosen for this grant, especially because this project goes to the heart of STEMteachersNYC’s core mission of driving student success through cultivating excellence in STEM teaching. By equipping teachers, we can directly help students incorporate computational thinking into their investigations about how the physical world works. This dynamic will result in some very exciting, very deep learning for both teachers and students.”

The project employs the proven teaching approach known as “Modeling Instruction.” Modeling uses student-driven authentic laboratory investigations to help students construct, refine, and apply the fundamental conceptual models that form the content core of the sciences, represent these models in multiple ways, and share their understanding with fellow students to promote deep understanding. Unlike many educational reforms, Modeling Instruction has proven to be very “sticky” – around 90% of the teachers who participate in professional development workshops and learn the pedagogy use it for the rest of their careers.

STEMteachersNYC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to creating quality professional development opportunities in the New York City area for STEM teachers. It presents weekend workshops during the school year and multi-day and multi-week workshop intensives in the summer led by master teachers. It welcomes teacher attendees from the local Tri-State Area, the US, and around the globe. STEMteachersNYC’s mission is to strive for excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics teaching, and for deep learning, strong self-confidence, and objective success of our students, through interchange and interaction among STEM teachers.

Project Partners
○ American Modeling Teachers Association (AMTA) has a 20-year history of training and supporting science teachers who use Modeling Instruction.
○ Bootstrap, a project founded at Brown University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute uses the Pyret programming language to “bootstrap” middle school algebra learning.
○ American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) is the national professional organization of physics teachers.

100Kin10 unites the nation's top academic institutions, nonprofits, foundations, companies, and government agencies to train and retain 100,000 excellent STEM teachers by 2021 to educate the next generation of innovators and problem solvers. STEMteachersNYC, AAPT, and AMTA are all members.     @STEMteachersNYC         @Bootstrapworld

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Jennifer Herring

Fernand Brunschwig
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