Boston – Sep­tember 15, 2008 – North­eastern Uni­ver­sity has been chosen by the Mass­a­chu­setts Depart­ment of Ele­men­tary and Sec­ondary Edu­ca­tion to lead a new pro­gram designed to improve middle school sci­ence edu­ca­tion. Funded through the Mass­a­chu­setts Math­e­matics and Sci­ence Part­ner­ship Pro­gram, the Greater North Shore Sci­ence Part­ner­ship (GNSSP) is a three-​​year, $748,356 pro­gram between Lynn and Malden Public Schools, UMass Boston, the Edu­ca­tion Devel­op­ment Center, Inc. and Northeastern’s Center for STEM (Sci­ence, Tech­nology, Engi­neering and Math) Edu­ca­tion aimed at pro­viding pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment and sup­port activ­i­ties to middle school sci­ence teachers with the goal of improving stu­dent out­comes in science.

Northeastern’s Center for STEM Edu­ca­tion was recently formed to con­nect the uni­ver­si­ties’ sci­ence, tech­nology, engi­neering and math depart­ments with the School of Edu­ca­tion, cre­ating a group that is helping to shape STEM edu­ca­tion in the Com­mon­wealth of Massachusetts.

Christos Zahopoulos, the Exec­u­tive Director of Northeastern’s Center for STEM Edu­ca­tion and Research Pro­fessor at both the Col­lege of Engi­neering and the Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion, ini­ti­ated and will lead this part­ner­ship. The idea for this part­ner­ship grew from the North Shore Sci­ence Part­ner­ship (NSSP), which has helped increase the number of highly qual­i­fied sci­ence teachers from public schools in Revere, Somerville and Saugus.

By funding the GNSSP, the Mass­a­chu­setts Depart­ment of Ele­men­tary and Sec­ondary Edu­ca­tion is rec­og­nizing the pos­i­tive impact that the North Shore Sci­ence Part­ner­ship, which is now in its third year, is having on the partner school sys­tems,” said Zahopoulos.

The GNSSP allows teachers the oppor­tu­nity to enroll in courses, informed by “How People Learn,” at North­eastern and UMass Boston that offer rel­e­vant follow-​​up activ­i­ties for stu­dents in their class­rooms. These courses are closely aligned with the Mass­a­chu­setts Sci­ence and Technology/​Engineering Cur­riculum Frame­work and carry grad­uate credits that will sat­isfy 90% of the require­ments for the Master of Edu­ca­tion in Middle School Sci­ence degree at North­eastern University.

The courses are open pri­marily to all teachers within Lynn and Malden public schools that teach math and sci­ence to stu­dents in grades 5–10 and, depending on avail­ability, to all STEM teachers in the com­mon­wealth of Massachusetts.

This grant will allow us to offer the highly effec­tive pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment courses, which were first devel­oped by the NSF-​​funded Boston Sci­ence Part­ner­ship Project (www​.boston​science​.org), to sci­ence and math teachers in Lynn and Malden,” added Zahopoulos. “We rec­og­nize the need for improve­ment in these com­mu­ni­ties, and with the course mate­rial offered, we hope to improve out­comes for both teachers and their students.”

Teachers in both the Lynn and Malden School dis­tricts will take, on average, 2–3 courses per year. The GNSSP will pro­vide resources to approx­i­mately 30–40 teachers, with the poten­tial to impact more than 5,000 stu­dents in grades five through eight,each year.

For more infor­ma­tion about the GNSSP, please con­tact Jenny Eriksen at (617) 373‑2802 or via email at j.​eriksen@​neu.​edu.

About the Center for STEM Education

This University-​​wide Center aspires to serve as the con­necting link between all the Uni­ver­sity Sci­ence, Tech­nology, Engi­neering, and Math (STEM) Depart­ments and the Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion. Its main goal is to play a key role in shaping the GK-​​20 STEM Edu­ca­tion vision at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity and put the Uni­ver­sity on the national map in this field. This will be accom­plished in part by con­sol­i­dating and coor­di­nating existing out­reach pro­grams and by cre­ating new ones that will have a sig­nif­i­cant impact on the STEM pipeline, on STEM teaching and learning in GK-​​20, on GK-​​12 STEM out­reach, and on STEM Edu­ca­tion Research. For more infor­ma­tion, please visit www​.stem​.neu​.edu.

About North­eastern

Founded in 1898, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity is a pri­vate research uni­ver­sity located in the heart of Boston. North­eastern is a leader in inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research, urban engage­ment, and the inte­gra­tion of class­room learning with real-​​world expe­ri­ence. The university’s dis­tinc­tive coop­er­a­tive edu­ca­tion pro­gram, where stu­dents alter­nate semes­ters of full-​​time study with semes­ters of paid work in fields rel­e­vant to their pro­fes­sional inter­ests and major, is one of the largest and most inno­v­a­tive in the world. The Uni­ver­sity offers a com­pre­hen­sive range of under­grad­uate and grad­uate pro­grams leading to degrees through the doc­torate in six under­grad­uate col­leges, eight grad­uate schools, and two part-​​time divi­sions. For more infor­ma­tion, please visit www​.north​eastern​.edu.