Northeastern Chosen as Lead Organization for the Greater North Shore Science Partnership

September 15, 2008

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.bostonscience.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.northeastern.edu.

For more information, please contact Jenny Catherine Eriksen at 617-373-2802 or at j.eriksen@neu.edu.

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