How STEM Through Integrative Partnerships, Vision, and a Plan Can Drive Institutional Transformation

Presenter: Brian Rizzo

Time: May 11, 11:15-12:30

Location: B122

STEM is the where the money is! Where there is money, there is opportunity. Where there is opportunity, there is an increased propensity to succeed. This country’s economic future, national security and global leadership are heavily dependent on the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, or STEM. STEM education is a national concern that will require support and commensurate funding for a decade or more if it is to firmly take root in our educational system. This is not lost on Governor McDonnell, who has made it clear that STEM initiatives are important and will be supported within the state. I present here an approach to STEM that I believe can differentiate UMW from its peers and provide this institution with something unique.

This presentation will make the case for UMW to incorporate the concept of spatial thinking throughout the curriculum. If adopted, the university will be better positioned to attract and respond to NSF STEM based opportunities, expand and develop outreach STEM based opportunities with local and regional partners, attract high school graduates who have been exposed to STEM and would like to continue their STEM education, and provide students with enhanced skills sets that will allow them to better compete for job opportunities. It will also provide a much needed coherent strategy to address STEM as an institution. Finally, this has the potential to differentiate UMW from all other schools in the state by providing us with a unique approach addressing the needs of the future and the needs of the student.

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