College of Education gets record government STEM research funding

Kids with iPad

Kids with iPad (Pixabay)

10/14/2015 |

Federal funding for STEM research is making history for the College of Education.

The college will receive $5.25 million for its work as part of a consortium that received funding for a 10-year cooperative agreement. Battelle Memorial Institute leads the consortium, receiving $185.4 million in funding from the Department of Defense for the agreement. The award is the largest single external funding contract received by the college.

The award will fund work by the College of Education to evaluate the U.S. Army’s Educational Outreach Program (AEOP). The program is a collection of STEM education and outreach programs, adding to the college’s collection of science, technology, engineering and math efforts in teaching, research and engagement.

Carla C. Johnson, associate dean for research, engagement and global partnerships, will work as the principal investigator for the grant, leading the evaluation and associated research.

“This grant highlights the College of Education’s place as a leader in developing and assessing the best practices in STEM education,” said Maryann Santos de Barona, dean of the College of Education.

AEOP’s mission addresses the national need for a STEM-literate talent pool, providing students and teachers with a collaborative, cohesive portfolio of Army-sponsored STEM programs that attract the next generation of STEM talent. Students are encouraged to participate in real-work STEM experiences and Army-sponsored mentors.

AEOP is the largest global portfolio of STEM education programs.

Johnson will lead evaluations of the programs designed to improve STEM literacy, provide resources for STEM educators and develop an infrastructure to sustain STEM education outreach. The programs extend from elementary school through college. Johnson’s team also will evaluate the lasting impact of these programs on participating students.

“It is a great honor to partner with Battelle Memorial Institute and to serve as the evaluator of their expansive global STEM education portfolio,” Johnson said. “Millions of dollars are invested in these enrichment programs, competitions and apprenticeships annually.

“Through our research activities, Purdue not only will determine annual progress, but also will provide substantive feedback focused on continuous program improvement and innovation.”

Battelle Memorial Institute is the lead organization in the project, working with partners to advance Army-sponsored STEM education and outreach programs across the nation and worldwide.

– Brian L. Huchel
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