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Putting the "M" in STEM

About This Collaboration

Too often STEM is divided into STE and M. This professional development partnership with Lesley University reunites these disciplines to highlight mathematics as a visible component of science, technology, and engineering. This program is designed to engage middle school teachers in the practices of inquiry science and problem-based mathematics. In a series of courses offered by program partners, teacher participants apply essential mathematics concepts and procedures toward inquiry-based investigations in grade-appropriate scientific disciplines.

Different aspects of the partnership are facilitated by each partner institution.

  • With Lesley University professors, teachers participate in Mathematics of Science courses aligned with the Massachusetts frameworks for science, mathematics, English Language Proficiency Standards, and the MA English Language Proficiency Benchmarks and Outcomes. These courses are co-taught by core and adjunct faculty from Lesley University mathematicians, scientists, mathematics educators, and science educators.
  • The Urban Ecology Institute engages teachers in authentic field study work.
  • The Museum of Science, Boston hosts one day-long session for each course. This session leverages the resources of our informal learning setting in support of the learning goals of the course.

Each course focuses on strengthening teachers’ content knowledge of inquiry-based science and problem-based mathematics. In addition to this overarching goal, the project acknowledges the responsibility of teachers to teach language and literacy within their disciplines. This grant explicitly addresses the importance of using the languages of science and mathematics to represent and communicate information about the natural world. The courses include pedagogical strategies for making the content of these unique languages accessible to all students.

Lesley University has submitted a grant to NSF proposing to further develop the master’s program for in-service teachers in the cities of Brockton and Quincy, including continued work with the Urban Ecology Institute and the Museum of Science.

Support provided by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.