UCCS center shares in $1 million math improvement grant

The Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education based at UCCS will share in a $1 million grant to provide professional development for secondary school math teachers in the Eagle County Schools.

Dave Khaliqi, director, CSTEME, said the three-year grant will build on ongoing efforts with teachers in the Pikes Peak region to improve mathematics instructional practices through the Pikes Peak Math Teacher’s Circle. The award was provided by the Colorado Department of Education with funds from the U.S. Department of Education. The award includes the Eagle County School District and the Consortium on Reading Excellence, Berkeley, Calif., in addition to the UCCS center.

“The program teaches teachers how to have fun with numbers, and pass that enjoyment onto their students” Khaliqi said. “In that process, we look at how to implement problem-solving and critical thinking skills and how to move both teacher and student past the text book.”

Beginning late this spring and continuing into June, UCCS facilitators from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Education will work with a 30-member cohort of Eagle County teachers. Each year, a new teacher cohort is planned with a goal of 90 teachers receiving seven days professional development training.

The program will be closely monitored by both CSTEME and Eagle County Schools administrators, Khaliqi said. Measures such as student achievement will be evaluated by Eagle County while CSTEME will evaluate teacher confidence in using the problem solving strategies discussed. The evaluations will lead to improvements in the training with the goal of eventually sharing it with other school districts in Colorado and regionally.

The Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education is part of the UCCS National Institute of Science, Space and Security Centers. Its mission is to enhance the workforce of scientists and engineers through programs and activities that target the elementary through college (P-16) arena. For more information, visit www.uccs.edu/~nisssc/csteme.html.

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