STEM education

Over the past decade, the University of Colorado Boulder has established itself as a national leader in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM education. The university's integrated, campuswide STEM initiatives are transforming the way undergraduates are taught and helping boost the number of STEM majors pursuing teaching careers.

Through a multidisciplinary collaboration of the School of Education, the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering and Applied Science, CU-Boulder has doubled the number of STEM majors completing secondary math and science teacher certification compared to just five years ago. The number of physics and chemistry majors enrolling in teacher certification has more than tripled in the past three years.

One component of the effort, the Learning Assistant program, has become a national model of how to recruit and prepare future K-12 math and science teachers and how to improve introductory STEM courses. Since the program began in 2003, more than 440 students have participated as Learning Assistants, helping improve introductory courses in 10 departments.

In January 2010, Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano was one of  four public research university leaders invited to visit the White House. During the visit, CU joined about 120 other universities pledging to address the national shortage of science and math teachers.

CU-Boulder professors also have a history of conducting leading research in STEM education. Distinguished Professor and Nobel laureate Carl Wieman launched the Science Education Initiative in 2006 to incorporate research findings on effective science instruction in classrooms at CU. In 2002 he also created the Physics Education Technology project, or PhET.  The globally renowned education tool uses interactive web-based simulations for physics instruction.

Over the next five years, CU-Boulder has pledged to at least double the number of science and mathematics teachers who graduate from CU, continuing its long commitment to STEM education.

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Integrating STEM Education


Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education at CU-Boulder is having a ripple effect.

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