The National Center for Science & Civic Engagement has awarded Northeastern Illinois University a Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER) Summer Institute 2015 Post-Institute Implementation Award. SENCER grants, which went to 15 institutions in total, are intended to promote education reform at the course, campus and regional levels, connect STEM to humanities disciplines such as music, literacy and the classics, and engage students in content and the community.
With its $3,000 grant, Northeastern will embed civic engagement components into two newly designed courses that support the preparation of middle school science teachers. The courses will be implemented in the 2016-2017 academic year.
“We are excited about this opportunity, and we are hopeful that this work will make a big impact on the preparation of science teachers that graduate from Northeastern,” said Physics Professor Sudha Srinivas, who is partnering with Earth Science Professor and Coordinator Kenneth Voglesonger on the project.
The project seeks to revise the introductory Physics and Earth Science courses in the Math, Science and Technology for Quality Education (MSTQE) program, a bridge program run in partnership with City Colleges of Chicago in which faculty and students from both institutions teach and study together. The goal of MSTQE is to create a well-educated, diverse cohort of elementary and middle school science and math teachers.
The two new courses will incorporate materials and applications that focus on the strong link between physics and geology in particular, while emphasizing the interdisciplinary nature of science.