CU to Host Science Education Symposium Aug. 31

Published: Aug. 26, 2009

The University of Colorado at Boulder will host an Aug. 31 public symposium on its nationally recognized efforts to address the crisis in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

The event will feature an address by CU-Boulder Interim Provost Stein Sture, three university deans and the introduction of faculty and graduate fellows. More than 30 individual programs will be featured in a poster session highlighting STEM education efforts being conducted in Colorado including the STEM Colorado Learning Assistant program, the CU Teach program, the Science Education Initiative, and the Bioliteracy program.

Institutions of higher education were recently challenged by the National Science Foundation to think strategically about integrating NSF-funded efforts to motivate lasting educational change. NSF's Innovation through Institutional Integration, or I3 program, has funded six institutions of higher education nationally, with CU-Boulder serving as a model.

CU-Boulder is preparing to launch a national-scale institute to incubate multidisciplinary educational research.

CU-Boulder's I3 program, Integrating STEM Education, is in the process of assimilating existing efforts and supporting new initiatives in STEM education at CU. It is supported partially through NSF funds, but seeks additional funding through grants and donor gifts. Program goals include building the STEM education research community, preparing future STEM primary, middle, high school and college teachers and transforming undergraduate STEM education at all levels.

The CU-Boulder project will culminate in an institute that links the School of Education, the College of Engineering and Applied Science and departments in life sciences, mathematics and physical sciences. The institute will provide the infrastructure for centralizing key ideas, strategies and results.

CU Physics Professor Noah Finkelstein said that Integrating STEM Education "capitalizes on local efforts for discipline-based research in biology, astronomy, geology, chemistry, engineering, physics and math."

CU School of Education Professor Valerie Otero added, "Rising to meet the national challenge in STEM education requires pooled efforts from the many talented researchers in the region. NSF's generous I3 funding allows us to integrate efforts toward large-scale educational change."

The symposium, which includes lunch, will be held on the Boulder campus from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Members of the public planning to attend must contact Jordan Brown at 303-735-0458 or

For more information about STEM Colorado visit