National Math and Science Initiative

Bringing Opportunity Closer for All Students Through STEM

Lead Organization

National Math and Science Initiative

Dallas, Texas, United States

http://www.nms.org

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To learn more about – or provide significant funding to – this project, please contact Lever for Change.

Project Summary

Across the US, students, particularly students of color and those living in poverty, do not have equitable access to high quality educational opportunity that demonstrate a coherent pathway from early years to college and career, leaving millions of students without access to the resources they need to access opportunity. We believe STEM education is the greatest lever to accessing opportunity, and is unmatched in unlocking student potential. NMSI will provide a robust set of comprehensive supports for students, teachers, and schools along the pre-K-12 continuum to ensure that all students have the knowledge and skills to thrive in the global economy. Skills learned through STEM education influences jobs across the global economy. Problem-solving, computational thinking and collaboration – all learned in STEM education – are in high demand across career fields.

Problem Statement

Today, more than ever, a quality education is the foundation of opportunity. By 2020, almost two-thirds of all jobs will require post-secondary education or training. Nearly as many will require basic literacy in science, technology, engineering and math. Skills learned through STEM education continue to influence jobs across the global economy. Problem-solving, computational thinking and collaboration – all learned in STEM education – are in high demand across career fields. STEM skills also contribute to individual and community well-being. From building a dollhouse to developing household budgets and effectively contributing to public life, we each put STEM skills to work every day.Yet millions of students lack access to the rigorous math and science classes that will equip them with the problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills they need to thrive, regardless of what career path they choose. Still more are limited by a lack of access to teachers who have deep levels of content expertise and schools with the resources essential for success. This is due to a number of factors, ranging from education funding at local, state, and national levels to rhetoric surrounding teaching as a profession. Those issues can be mitigated through a comprehensive approach to equip local leaders and educators to create sustainable solutions through the use and implementation of high-quality, research-based programming. The biggest enabler to this change is a shift in culture, starting with teachers, leaders, and influencers.

Solution Overview

Through our flagship programs, Laying the Foundation teacher training program, College Readiness Program, and UTeach, NMSI provides comprehensive support for students from elementary school through higher education. Fully implemented, the programs work together to ensure students have the necessary knowledge and skills to thrive in STEM and builds a pipeline of students equipped to reach their highest potential as STEM-literate problem-solvers and lifelong learners.We support schools by providing rigorous curricula, creating robust professional learning communities, and engaging K-12 students and prospective STEM teachers in relevant, real-world learning experiences in an effective, aligned manner. Through districts and communities across a large geographic area, NMSI will build a collaborative network to drive change. Through comprehensive program management to support district and school leaders, our project will create a culture of advanced academics, focusing on quality and sustainability.At the university level, NMSI will utilize our UTeach program to leverage existing colleges of education and sciences to create new, highly qualified STEM teachers. By leveraging UTeach in partnership with local districts, NMSI can provide near peer learning opportunities and exposure to a high-quality STEM teacher preparation program and enhance student experience for both district students and the UTeach students preparing to lead their own classrooms.NMSI will measure progress in a number of ways, with the STEM Framework for Success as our guide, measuring 10 conditions, practices, and outcomes that education and research experts agree indicate how well a state, school system, or school is performing in the delivery of STEM education.

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