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Penn State Beaver cosponsors and hosts STEM initiative meeting

3/1/2013 —

Penn State Beaver recently hosted a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) K-16 focus group on campus in partnership with the Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit (BVIU).

Twenty-one area educators and administrators participated in the program which was facilitated by Donald Sheffield, education consultant and former affiliate professor of education at Beaver campus. Beaver Chancellor Gary Keefer; John Hansen, superintendent, Beaver Area School District; and Tom Zelesnik, BVIU executive director, welcomed the group and introduced the project.

Issues addressed included identification of skill gaps for students entering college in STEM majors, high school-to-college transition issues and academic success, methods to fuel early student interest in STEM fields, key courses for STEM-related curricula, and training needs for K-16 faculty.

Beaver campus faculty members in attendance were:
Abhijit Dutt, instructor in information sciences and technology
Angela Fishman, instructor in mathematics
Michael Hay, associate professor of chemistry
James Hendrickson, instructor in engineering
Leo Takahashi, assistant professor of physics
Kay Wijekumar, associate professor of information sciences and technology
Chris Wu, professor of mathematics

High school teachers in attendance were:
Joanne Gonzalez, math, Ambridge Area School District
Paul Hladio, science, Ambridge Area School District
Jim Hanlon, science, Beaver Area School District
Renita Wilson, science, Big Beaver Falls Area School District
Lynda Zelesnak, math, Big Beaver Falls Area School District
Heather McCowin, math, Blackhawk School District
Tamara Hyatt, science, Central Valley School District
Dean Nelson, science, Hopewell Area School District
Ray Smith, math, Hopewell Area School District
Cherie Conrad, science, Western Beaver County School District. 

For information about the STEM K-16 initiative, contact Keefer at rxm70@psu.edu or 724-773-3553.

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