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Public activities at ASU
program beefs up science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)
programs in northeast Arkansas schools
July 28, 2009 --
5-year GK12 program, funded by the National Science Foundation, will
help enrich science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education
in rural public schools throughout northeast Arkansas. The program will
place 8 graduate fellows as “resident scientists” in sixth-grade to
classrooms in 8 area schools. The fellows represent Environmental
Sciences, Molecular Biosciences and Biology Graduate programs. Each
graduate fellow will work with two mentor teachers. ASU’s GK12 program
is in its second year.
“It’s a win-win for the graduate students, the teachers they assist, and
the younger students they will help to instruct,” said Dr. Jennifer
Bouldin, director of the Ecotoxicology Research Facility and assistant
professor of Environmental Biology. Dr. Bouldin is also principal
investigator for ASU’s GK12 program. “These eight fellows will get to
work with 16 mentor teachers, so they will bring cutting-edge science
into the school curriculum, they will learn to better communicate
science to the students, and the students will see the range of
possibilities for studying STEM courses in high school and in college.”
By basing their lesson plans on their graduate research, the GK12
program goals include the improvement of the fellows’ skills in
communicating science to a broad audience while
a deeper understanding of their own research; the improving or enhancing
the knowledge and experience of the classroom mentor teachers; the
piquing of student interest in STEM courses and careers while exposing
students to an enriched STEM environment; and the strengthening of
partnerships between ASU-Jonesboro and the public schools of northeast
Arkansas, with the ultimate goal of making higher education more visible
and accessible to underserved populations.
Dr. Tillman Kennon, assistant professor of science education, is a
co-principal investigator along with Dr. Anne Grippo, associate
professor of biology, Dr. Cynthia Miller, NEA Delta Partnership for Math
and Science, and Dr. Karen Yanowitz, associate professor of psychology.
Dr. Mike Hall, associate professor of mathematics, is an associated
Participating school districts are Armorel, Cross County, Forrest City,
Harrisburg, Nettleton, and Wynne. The graduate fellows are,
respectively, Sarah Thompson, Armorel; Annabelle McKie and Kevin Keen,
Cross County; Mauricio Solis, Forrest City; Scott Chiavacci, Harrisburg;
Bryan Reiley, Nettleton; and Seth Schirmer and Katie Lisko; Wynne.
Mentor-teachers in those schools are Alayna Duren and Kelly Hopper,
Armorel; Heidi Brewington, Jacob Maxwell, Jennifer McFarland, and
Melissa Moore, Cross County; Alysa Love and Charity McKeen, Forrest
City; Denise Doyle and Teresa Sanders, Harrisburg; Heather Page and
Matthew Novak, Nettleton; and Gayberia Smith, Cindy Barrett, Marc
Griffin, and Meredith Schweighart, Wynne.
For more information on ASU-Jonesboro’s GK12 program, contact Dr.
Jennifer Bouldin (firstname.lastname@example.org), (870) 972-2570.
Photos courtesy of Dr. Jennifer
Photos from top: From left to right, this year's GK12 fellows are Bryan
Reiley, Seth Schirmer, Annabelle McKie, Scott Chiavacci, Katie Lisko,
Sarah Thompson, Kevin Keen, and Mauricio Solis. GK12 mentors--first row
(kneeling, left to right): Teresa Sanders, Jacob Maxwell, Alisa Love,
Kelly Hopper; second row, left to right: Jennifer McFarland, Heather
Page, Gayberia Smith, Alayna Duren, Charity McKeen, Heidi Brewington;
third row, left to right: Matthew Novak, Cindy Barnett, Marc Griffin,
Melissa Moore, Meredith Schweighart, Teresa Sanders. The fellows and
mentors of Arkansas State University's GK12 program pose outside Cooper
Alumni Center after a day of team-building exercise.