Hoboken, NJ – The Babbio Atrium at Stevens Institute of Technology was filled with colorful poster displays, excited elementary- and middle-school students and teachers from across the state, as the Partnership to Improve Student Achievement in Physical Science: Integrating STEM Approaches (PISA²) kicked off yesterday.
The PISA² program is a five-year, $11.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) that will impact 12 diverse school districts throughout New Jersey. This statewide initiative will support the creation of the next generation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) innovators.
Beth McGrath, director of the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) at Stevens and project director of the PISA2 program, opened the event’s ceremony by welcoming the Honorable Albio Sires, US Congressional Representative of the 13th District of New Jersey, as well as the PISA² community of teachers, administrators, school board representatives, and students from school districts around the state.
“PISA² is an ambitious five-year program that will strengthen science education in elementary and middle grades,” McGrath explained. “Approximately 570 teachers, administrators and Stevens students interested in a possible teaching career will benefit from this program which will ultimately impact 87,000 students in New Jersey over the next five years. Those students are this nation’s next generation of technological innovators.”
Interim President of Stevens, Dr. George P. Korfiatis remarked that innovation has always been a trademark of Stevens, from its founding 140 years ago. After sharing some of Stevens’ rich legacy with the PISA² students and teachers in attendance, he introduced Congressman Sires, who concurred that: “the work that is done at Stevens is truly inspiring.”
Congressman Sires continued: “When the opportunity to support innovation in K-12 education in New Jersey was first presented to me by Stevens, I jumped on it. As I looked around at the poster displays presented this morning, I see where we’re going. Our children need to be prepared to compete globally beginning at an early age. This program is a great way to promote science and technology and to produce innovators and entrepreneurs, just like Stevens has always been known to do.”
Closing remarks were given by Dr. Edward Whittaker, professor of physics at Stevens and the principal investigator for this NSF grant. He asked the students to look around at their teachers, and realize that they too are students through the PISA² program.
“The number of teachers willing and eager to participate in this program is impressive. We must applaud their efforts,” said Dr. Whittaker. “Our future is in good hands.”
About Stevens Institute of Technology
Founded in 1870 and celebrating 140 Years of Innovation, Stevens Institute of Technology, The Innovation University™, lives at the intersection of industry, academics and research. The University's students, faculty and partners leverage their collective real-world experience and culture of innovation, research and entrepreneurship to confront global challenges in engineering, science, systems and technology management.
Based in Hoboken, N.J. and with a location in Washington, D.C., Stevens offers baccalaureate, master’s, certificates and doctoral degrees in engineering, the sciences and management, in addition to baccalaureate degrees in business and liberal arts. Stevens has been recognized by both the US Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Excellence in the areas of systems engineering and port security research. The University has a total enrollment of more than 2,200 undergraduate and 3,700 graduate students with almost 450 faculty. Stevens’ graduate programs have attracted international participation from China, India, Southeast Asia, Europe and Latin America as well as strategic partnerships with industry leaders, governments and other universities around the world. Additional information may be obtained at www.stevens.edu and www.stevens.edu/news.