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About the Center: Background

Committed to excellence in science, technology, engineering, and math education

Housed within the Graduate School, the Center for STEM Learning (CSL) was officially formed on December 20, 2012.

CSL is an outcome of the NSF Grant "I3: Towards a Center for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Education." In 2008, Chancellor DiStefano was awarded this NSF grant, which was proposed in response to the National Academies' Rising Above the Gathering Storm report, which calls for four avenues of action to support U.S. science, technology, engineering and mathematics competitiveness for the coming century; these are, in priority order, to: "focus on actions in K-12 education (10,000 Teachers, 10 Million Minds), research (Sowing the Seeds), higher education (Best and Brightest), and economic policy (Incentives for Innovation)." The principal investigators of this grant felt that CU-Boulder was particularly well poised to take direct and immediate action on these issues through developing and integrating three currently existing lines of NSF funded work: (1) undergraduate and graduate course transformation, (2) undergraduate and graduate teacher preparation, and (3) discipline-based education research among faculty, students, and post-doctoral scholars. The purpose of the NSF grant was to create a STEM education center that will: (a) integrate the three lines of inquiry and development described above, (b) retain the status and rigor offered through science and engineering department identity, (c) expand the reach of the thriving STEM education community to include more departments and participants, and (d) establish CU-Boulder as a national hub of STEM education. Until CSL was launched, this initiative was known as Integrating STEM Education (iSTEM).