College of Education to Receive More than $580,000 for South Metro-Salem STEM Project

Pacific University's College of Education has received a grant of $580,198 to help improve the quality of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in Salem and outlying areas south of Portland.

The Oregon Department of Education Title IIB Math and Science Partnerships award will enhance Pacific's role in the South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership, a collaboration of school districts, community colleges, universities, out-of-school programs and business and community partners focused on increasing student access and success in STEM fields. Funds will be dispersed over a three-year period through 2017 for the project, titled South Metro-Salem Integrated STEM.

The US Department of Education's Mathematics and Science Partnerships is a federal formula grant program that funds collaborative partnerships between STEM departments at institutions of higher education and high-needs school districts. These partnerships provide intensive, content-rich professional development to teachers and other educators, with the goal of improving classroom instruction and, ultimately, student achievement in math and science. Each state is responsible for administering competitive proposal processes and awarding of funds.

As a South Metro-Salem STEM partner, Pacific University's College of Education has committed its faculty and graduate students to work with local school districts to deliver professional development of STEM instruction to K-12 teachers.

This grant will help finance a collaborative project between Pacific, the University of Oregon Department of Physics and the Salem-Keizer, Tigard-Tualatin, Woodburn, Molalla River, Silver Falls and Central school districts that will benefit the entire South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership and beyond.

The project will include the development, testing and refinement of 12 integrated STEM lesson sequences and projects for grades 4-5 that will be made available regionally to all 15 SMSP districts, and broadly as an Open Educational Resource.

Additionally, the project will deliver more than 300 hours of professional development to 32 teachers and administrators over the three-year period through teacher training in the use of web-based digital tools for data literacy, language support in STEM instruction, the integration of community and business partnerships in lesson sequences and projects.

The project aims to directly increase the science and mathematics achievement of more than 3,000 grade 4-5 students in six highly diverse school districts, said Pacific professor and STEM teacher education director Kevin Carr.

For more information, please contact Dr. Carr at 503-352-1443 or

Monday, Dec. 8, 2014