The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has awarded grants totaling more than $2.1 million to ten partnerships between school divisions and colleges and universities to increase content knowledge and sharpen classroom skills of teachers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics – subject areas known collectively as STEM.
The awards were made through VDOE’s Mathematics and Science Partnership grant competition, which was announced last August. School divisions and institutions of higher education were encouraged to submit proposals to create partnerships that would provide professional development to teachers. The professional development proposals focus on supporting the implementation of the 2009 Mathematics Standards of Learning (SOL) and the 2010 Science SOL.
More than $1,118,000 was awarded to fund the following five mathematics projects:
- Building Number, Number Sense and Computational Fluency through Math Modeling and Performance Based Assessments: Teaching and Assessing Virginia's 2009 3-5 Mathematics SOL – $208,935 for George Mason University and the Virginia Council for Private Education to serve 90 teachers in seven school divisions (Arlington County, Fairfax County, Fauquier County, Frederick County, Loudoun County, Manassas and Prince William County).
- Developing Rational Numbers and Proportional Reasoning through Math Modeling and Performance Based Assessments: Teaching and Assessing Virginia's 2009 6-8 Mathematics SOL – $220,515 for George Mason University and the Virginia Council for Private Education to serve 90 teachers in seven school divisions (Arlington County, Fairfax County, Fauquier County, Frederick County, Loudoun County, Manassas and Prince William County).
- PREP: Proportional Reasoning Enrichment Project – $243,606 for Longwood University and the Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics to serve 70 teachers in 18 school divisions (Amelia County, Brunswick County, Buckingham County, Carroll County, Charlotte County, Cumberland County, Dinwiddie County, Floyd County, Galax, Grayson County, Greensville County, Halifax County, Lunenburg County, Mecklenburg County, Nottoway County, Pittsylvania County, Powhatan County and Prince Edward County).
- Secondary Mathematics Professional Development Center – $230,000 for Radford University and Virginia Commonwealth University to serve 76 teachers in 29 school divisions (Arlington County, Bedford County, Buchanan County, Floyd County, Franklin County, Frederick County, Gloucester County, Hampton, Hanover County, Henrico County, King and Queen County, King William County, New Kent County, Newport News, Norton, Patrick County, Pittsylvania County, Pulaski County, Radford, Rappahannock County, Roanoke, Roanoke County, Salem, Suffolk, Sussex County, Virginia Beach, West Point, Wise County and York County) and two schools (Piedmont Governor's School for Mathematics Science & Technology and St. Catherine's School).
- Tidewater Team to Improve K-2 Grade Mathematics Achievement – $215,000 for the College of William & Mary to serve 40 teachers in 25 school divisions (Charles City County, Chesapeake, Colonial Beach, Essex County, Franklin, Gloucester County, Hampton, Hopewell, Isle of Wight County, King and Queen County, Lancaster County, Middlesex County, New Kent County, Newport News, Petersburg, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Richmond County, Southampton County, Suffolk, Surry County, Sussex County, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg-James City County and York County) and one private school (Christ the King School).
More than $988,000 was awarded to fund the following five science projects:
- Developing Grades 6-12 Science Teacher Leaders' Understanding of Electricity, Magnetism and Light via Modeling and Inquiry – $227,069 for the University of Virginia, the Virginia School University Partnership and Jefferson Lab to serve 64 teachers in 16 school divisions (Albemarle County, Campbell County, Charlottesville, Clarke County, Culpeper County, Frederick County, Goochland County, Hampton, Louisa County, Madison County, Manassas Park, Newport News, Prince Edward County, Roanoke County, Rockbridge County and Staunton).
- Developing Teacher-Leaders in Integrated Math and Science for Inclusive Classrooms – $203,108 for the University of Virginia/Blandy Experimental Farm to serve 60 teachers in six school divisions (Clarke County, Fauquier County, Frederick County, Shenandoah County, Warren County and Winchester) and two private schools (Riverfront Christian School and Sacred Heart Academy).
- Enhancing Student Achievement Across Virginia Through Modeling Instruction – $235,819 to James Madison University, the American Modeling Teachers Association, the Virginia Instructors of Physics and the Virginia Space Grant Consortium to serve 166 teachers in 28 school divisions (Alexandria, Alleghany County, Amherst County, Augusta County, Buena Vista, Chesapeake, Chesterfield County, Culpeper County, Fairfax County, Fauquier County, Franklin County, Harrisonburg, Henrico County, Henry County, King George County, Loudoun County, Manassas, Montgomery County, Newport News, Norfolk, Prince William County, Richmond County, Roanoke County, Rockbridge County, Rockingham County, Shenandoah County, Spotsylvania County and Virginia Beach) and two private schools (St. Catherine's School and Norfolk Collegiate).
- Project D 'n' A: Building Blocks for Middle School Science Literacy – $203,516 for Old Dominion University Research Foundation, Tidewater Community College and Temple University to serve 54 teachers in two school divisions (Portsmouth and Virginia Beach).
- Self-Regulation of Argumentation Skills in Science (SASS) – $119,209 for George Mason University to serve 30 teachers in four school divisions (Clarke County, Fauquier County, Frederick County and Warren County).
Mathematics and Science Partnership grants are authorized by Title II, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (also known as No Child Left Behind). The grant program is designed to improve instruction by encouraging partnerships between institutions of higher education and school divisions to provide opportunities for mathematics and science teachers to increase subject-matter knowledge and improve classroom skills.
In addition to professional development opportunities, the grants also support the development and availability of curriculum and lesson plans, professional development materials and other resources developed by project leaders and teachers for school division use.
More information about Mathematics and Science Partnership projects and resources is available on the VDOE website.