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A Web Letter from the Office of the Provost - March 2021
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By Mary Jane Chew

Purdue, Indianapolis Public Schools answer the call for more STEM teachers

The inaugural cohort of six STEM teachers is taking online courses this spring and summer in preparation for their time in Indianapolis classrooms this fall. The group is participating in the Indy STEM Teacher Residency (ISTR) program, a partnership between Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) and Purdue University. The program aims to strengthen the educational outcomes of students in the largest urban school district in Indiana by preparing culturally competent, highly qualified career STEM teachers who will elevate student achievement in middle and high school science -- including computer science -- technology, engineering, and mathematics.

ISTR was announced in 2019, and aims to add as many as 60 new teachers to this critical area to improve the opportunities for students.

It is vitally important that all children, but especially children from minoritized populations and economically challenged backgrounds, have access to exemplary STEM education, period,” said professor Lynn Bryan, project head and director of CATALYST at Purdue. “The six teacher residents will be teaching under the tutelage of a mentor teacher in an IPS classroom beginning this fall, at either Arsenal Technical High School or Henry W. Longfellow Medical/STEM Middle School 28. We are excited to begin to see the tangible impact of our program soon.

CATALYST is an interdisciplinary research-oriented center in the College of Education focused on building and supporting a community of educational professionals who are dedicated to advancing K-12 STEM teaching and learning.

CATALYST is joined by IPS and Purdue’s College of Science in the work that is funded by a $5.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Bryan said through the project, as many as 80 percent of resident teachers will remain in Indianapolis Public Schools for at least three years with intended teacher retention to remain higher than nonresident teachers.

The next cohort will begin in spring 2022. Applications for the spring 2022 cohort will be due October 15, 2021, and can be found on the ISTR web site.

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