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Partnerships For Building The Nation’s Stem Educational Enterprise: A Nsf Gk 12 Fellows Project

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Engineering Student Involvement in K12 Programs

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.964.1 - 13.964.9



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Paper Authors


Rajesh Ganesan George Mason University

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Rajesh Ganesan is an Assistant Professor of systems engineering and operations research at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. He received his Ph.D. in 2005 and M.S. in 2002 both in Industrial Engineering, and M.A in Mathematics in 2005, all from the University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. His areas of research include stochastic control and wavelet analysis in statistical applications. He was the project manager of the STARS GK-12 project at Univ. of South Florida and is now the Principal Investigator of the SUNRISE GK-12 project at George Mason University.

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Donna Sterling George Mason University


Philip Henning James Madison University

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Phil Henning is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the department of Integrated Science and Technology at James Madison University. He is the external Project evaluator for SUNRISE at George Mason University.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Partnerships for Building the Nation’s STEM Educational Enterprise: A NSF GK-12 Fellows Project Introduction:

Several reports indicate lack of proficient performance of America’s children in science and mathematics. The reports also indicated the need to give teachers the tools they need to enrich the learning opportunities for K-12 students in science and mathematics. Particularly, these tools include the professional development and training on content materials to the teachers. Below, we first summarize a few of the findings from these reports which motivate our educational research. Further, we provide details of our research and observations.

“Recent reports of the performance of America’s children and youth from both the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS, 19991 and 20042) and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP, 20003) echo a dismal message of lackluster performance” 4. For example, TIMSS (2004 2) report “suggests that the performance of U.S. fourth-graders in both mathematics and science was lower in 2003 than in 1995 relative to the 14 other countries that also participated in both studies”. According to the National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century, the learning shortfalls are due in part to a shortage of qualified science and math teachers (Sterling, 20045). Another report by the National Science Board notes that in the period 1990-2003, most students in grades 4, 8 and 12 did not reach proficient performance levels in both mathematics and science (NSF 20066). Furthermore, under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act of 2002, policy makers have relegated science to the backburner by directing a majority of the resources to reading and mathematics-the first areas to be assessed and reported with adequate yearly progress (AYP) (Slutskin, 20057). Science is slated for testing only in 2007-2008, and only a few school divisions have started monitoring their competency in science. In the State of Virginia, only 48% of school divisions met the AYP requirement for 2004-058.

A recent report by the BHEF9 (Business-Higher Education Forum 2007) states “…chronic low student interest and achievement in mathematics and science poses an acute challenge to American economic competitiveness.” The BHEF membership is made up of members from business and academia.

“Now three decades old; it is time that the nation heeded it - before it is too late” 4. A National Research Council panel (Brunkhorst and Lewis, 200010) issued a report that urged increased cooperation between universities and GK-12 schools in teacher education and professional development for teachers of science and mathematics. The NSF GK-12 program offers a unique opportunity to address this need.

This paper documents the development, implementation efforts, and preliminary results of SUNRISE (Schools, University ‘N’ (and) Resources In the Sciences and Engineering-A NSF GK-12 Fellows Project), a unique graduate Fellowship program that targets graduate students working in the grade 4-6 school environment. SUNRISE is a new GK-12 project, initiated in July 2007 that is aimed at partnering STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) graduate students (Fellows) with school teachers from three different school

Ganesan, R., & Sterling, D., & Henning, P. (2008, June), Partnerships For Building The Nation’s Stem Educational Enterprise: A Nsf Gk 12 Fellows Project Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3388

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