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IUPUI role adds up

U.S. education experts are determined to improve the math and science skills of American students, and IUPUI finds itself at the leading edge of that drive.

The campus, which hosted the recent Midwest Robert Noyce Regional Conference, is the only Hoosier college in the nationwide Science and Mathematics Teacher Imperative (SMTI) and is an integral part of the growing Woodrow Wilson Fellows program.

The Noyce conference brought together teachers, professors and student teachers from throughout the Midwest to discuss strategies for preparing successful science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers. IUPUI also offers the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The program encourages talented STEM majors and professionals to teach in the kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) school system.

IUPUI is the only Hoosier campus among a nationwide group of 27 universities that will address the lack of highly qualified science and mathematics teachers in middle and high school classrooms across America through the SMTI. The National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (including IUPUI) started the SMTI program to reverse the state of science and math education by increasing the pool of science and math teachers.

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation recently chose 59 men and women as the first Wilson Fellows. They have started work on master's degrees from four Indiana universities — IUPUI, Ball State, the University of Indianapolis and Purdue — to prepare for math and science teaching positions in the state's high-need urban and rural schools. The four universities are part of Indiana's role as the first state for the Wilson program.