Grant project to produce STEM leaders in urban schools

(Originally printed in MSU Today Dec 19, 2013)

Michigan State University is partnering with global tech giant Wipro Ltd. to help meet the demand for math and science teachers who will be leaders in America’s urban school districts.

Faculty members in the College of Education will use a $2.8 million, multi-year grant from the India-based company to offer a unique fellowship program to more than 100 teachers, starting this summer in Chicago.

“There is a critical shortage of excellent math and science teachers nationwide and even more so in urban school districts,” said project co-leader Sonya Gunnings-Moton, assistant dean in the College of Education. “We need leaders among teachers who can build not only their own capacity to improve learning, but also the capacity of their colleagues.”

The Wipro STEM Fellowship Program will include coursework leading to a Graduate Certificate in STEM Teaching and Leadership. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. All expenses will be covered for participants, who must commit to continue teaching in an urban school for at least two years.

Participants will be expected to implement innovative teaching strategies in their own classrooms and develop professional learning communities through which fellow STEM teachers in their school can share ideas and support one another.

“This program is designed to develop each of these teachers into catalysts of change in disadvantaged communities of urban areas,” said Anurag Behar, chief sustainability officer for Wipro.

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Punya Mishra, professor of educational psychology and educational technology, is co-director of the fellowship. Assistant Professor Leigh Graves Wolf also is assisting.

Media Contacts

Punya Mishra & Nicole Geary & Andy Henion

Photo of teacher with student at whiteboard