The mission of the Center for Science, Mathematics and Computer Education (CSMCE) is to support UNL faculty engaged in educational activities focused on improving the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at both the PK-12 and collegiate level. With support from UNL’s Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Education and Human Sciences, and Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the CSMCE works to build partnerships among leaders in the higher education and PK-12 education sectors that further our basic mission.
News and Events
- Nebraska researcher Leen-Kiat Soh is using a four-year, $2 million grant, Adapt, Implement and Research, from the National Science Foundation to lead an interdisciplinary team of Nebraska researchers in developing and deploying a program aimed at helping the state’s educators effectively teach the subject to a diverse group of K-8 students. In Nebraska and many other states, there’s a lack of standardized K-12 computer science curricula. Soh’s program focuses on the training and professional development of about 80 educators from diverse districts statewide, including majority-minority, rural and Native schools. These include the Omaha Public Schools, Omaha Nation Public Schools, Grand Island Public Schools and at least eight other rural districts. Participating teachers will join a network linking more experienced computer science educators to novices. To develop a framework for the network, the researchers tapped the Center for Science, Mathematics and Computer Education, which has extensive experience fostering the professional development of Nebraska’s K-12 teachers. In addition to Soh, LPS's Kent Steen, and UNL's Gwen Nugent and Guy Trainin, the team includes Wendy Smith, research associate professor and associate director for the CSMCE. Apply now for the AIR@NE program
- Judy Walker, Aaron Douglas Professor of Mathematics and associate vice chancellor for faculty and academic affairs, has been named a fellow of the Association for Women in Mathematics for her dedication to creating a more inclusive community within mathematics fields. Walker was the acting director of the CSMCE from February 2015 to October 2018.
- The Astronomy Education Workshop was held on Oct. 6, 2018. Organized by Kevin Lee, the workshop was in Jorgensen Hall on UNL City Campus and was a joint meeting with the Nebraska Chapter of the American Association of Physics Teachers. The keynote speaker was citizen science expert Laura Trouille, the Director of Citizen Science at the Adler Planetarium and co-I of the Zooniverse Project. Nebraska's Greg Snow also delivered a presentation titled "LIGO and the Merger of Neutron Stars."
- Congratulations to Greg Sand of Omaha Central High School, a Noyce Master Teaching Fellow, and Kirsten Smith of Pound Middle School in Lincoln, a TEAMS leader, who each earned a doctorate in Educational Studies in August 2018 from Nebraska. Four other Nebraska teachers earned a Master of Arts for Teachers (MAT) from the Department of Mathematics: Grant Doerr (Pierce Jr/Sr High), Emily Dvorak (Lincoln High), Wendi Herbin (Lincoln Southeast), and Jordan Sis (Goodrich Middle School, Lincoln), and three elementary teachers from Omaha Public Schools who previously completed Primarily Math received a Master of Arts from TLTE: Katelyn Lee (Skinner Magnet Center), Maggie Lee (Indian Hill Elementary), and Kristen Cocco Lightfoot (Gilder Elementary).
- CSMCE Math Coordinator Michelle Homp traveled to Africa in July 2018 to introduce the Primarily Math program to seven teachers from the Senegalese-American Bilingual School (SABS) in Dakar, Senegal. This experience was one component of the Afrimath Summer Program. See photos from her trip.
- Christian Science Monitor: Math makeover: Colleges swap lectures for active learning
- LPS: Class combines embroidery, computer programming
- LPS: Molding mathematicians at Hartley Elementary
- Omaha World-Herald: Millard teacher who died in Tuesday crash had a knack for connecting with students
- Channel 10/11: Nebraska astronomer unconvinced UFO is an alien vessel
Meeting Challenges of 21st Century Classrooms
To meet the state’s and the nation’s need for more highly qualified science teachers, the 14-month Master of Arts with emphasis in science teaching (MAst) program was established in the College of Education’s Department of Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, along with a Robert Noyce, Track I, Phase I grant from the National Science Foundation, awarded in 2010. This report presents a summary of the accomplishments of this Noyce grant, in which 60 post-baccalaureate science majors and professionals were provided with Noyce stipends to become science teachers. The MAst program is now in its sixth year, producing an average of 10 new science teachers per year. The project team, led by Dr. Elizabeth Lewis, was also awarded a second Noyce grant in 2015 to support 30 more individuals to become science teachers along with funding to continue to research the practices of beginning science teachers. The MAst program engages science professionals in a research-informed program of study that supports them in developing the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to meet the challenges of the modern American secondary science classroom.