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i2STEMe partners with STEM Academy of USA for international teacher development

Lisa Stueve, Ed.D. is pictured (bottom left) in a local West Bengal, India newspaper.

Lisa Stueve, Ed.D., of the College of Education’s Institute for Interdisciplinary STEM Education (i2STEMe) visited West Bengal, India where she assisted in the completion of a three-day professional development offered to 40 teachers from six local schools.

Stueve, who serves as the i2STEMe outreach specialist, said the event was a result of the Institute’s ongoing partnership with the STEM Academy of USA.

“The Institute has a memorandum of understanding with STEM Academy of USA,” she explained. “We formed a relationship with the Academy through a science teacher from Newton County, Saibaba Arcot, a member of their team, and executed the memorandum in 2016 prior to our first visit.”

The July professional development was held at STEM World School in West Bengal with a focus of illustrating STEM projects and problem-based learning opportunities and encouraging teacher collaboration.

“The trip was wonderful,” said Stueve. “The teachers were receptive and diligent–asking for specific guidance and excited to work through models.”

Stueve says she particularly enjoyed working with a small government school in Chennai where the STEM Academy of USA group met directly with students to model a lesson.

“We had the students evaluate existing animal habitats at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Chennai and asked them to work within the parameters of the land available to design improved habitats for some of the residents,” said Stueve. “We encouraged the teachers to continue the project and to engage the zoo in the conversation–modeling after a project out of Tucker Middle School with the Atlanta Zoo.”

STEM Academy of USA is an educational organization that works to enhance STEM education in India via collaborative partnerships. Focusing on STEM curriculum for grades 4-9, the Academy offers teacher trainings as well as support materials for STEM based activities. The leadership team consists of India natives who are now residing in the United States. The Academy’s focus on STEM education in India results from what they describe as a decline in the country’s STEM literacy over the past few decades.

The STEM Academy of USA team has been invited back to India in October. As partners with the Academy, Georgia Southern University has a team working together on the professional learning development prior to execution. For the fall trip, two members of the University’s team will join STEM Academy of USA for the professional training activities.

Georgia Southern team members include: Robert Mayes, Ph.D., College of Education; Elizabeth Rasnick, Ph.D., College of Engineering and Information Technology; Celine Manoosingh, Ph.D., College of Engineering and Information Technology; Shainaz Landge, Ph.D., College of Science and Mathematics; Denise Carroll, Ph.D, College of Science and Mathematics; and Stueve.

In the future, the STEM Academy of USA plans to launch STEM Centers of Excellence in West Bengal and New Dehli and to continue to collaborate with Georgia Southern in training STEM education specialists in India.


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