Center for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Careers through Outreach, Research, & Education (STEM CORE)
The primary goal of STEM CORE is to produce a broader and deeper pool of STEM talent in Oregon through the development of efficient and effective models for student learning and engagement and by forging new collaborations between educators, researchers, and administrators.
Physics, University of Oregon
Profile submitted by Dean Livelybrooks
Vision and Goals
- Develop and conduct competitive proposals for external funding that support collaborative research and STEM education, outreach, and education research
- Recruit mathematics and science majors to K-12 teaching through innovative undergraduate courses and programs providing pathways to teaching careers, and
- Leverage and coalesce outreach projects that inspire STEM education throughout Oregon and nationally through building the human and capital infrastructure needed for sustained excellence.
- Promote equity throughout all efforts and initiatives by utilizing evidence-based practices for enhancing diversity and offering inclusive activities
STEM CORE is a collaborative effort of the physics, chemistry, biology, and geological sciences departments with matching support from the College of Arts and Sciences and in partnership with College of Education faculty. STEM CORE is a consortium of University of Oregon science, math and education faculty, STEM outreach and education program coordination staff, community college faculty, K-12 collaborators, STEM industry and government partners and supporters. STEM CORE is co-directed by a Physics faculty member and an Education Studies faculty member. STEM CORE currently supports one full-time FTE for an associate director who is an administrator with a courtesy appointment in the Department of Physics.
Description of Programming
Key activities that helped demonstrate the need and potential for the center include an NSF funded GK-12 program and S-STEM award both of which support sustained outreach to rural Oregon communities contributing to the STEM pipeline, plus faculty involvement in a local math and science partnership grant that fosters project-based learning in part through connections between K-12 schools and local industries by providing teacher professional development.
Successes and Impacts
STEM CORE is relatively new effort that brings together a number of ongoing successful activities as well as a consortium of faculty, staff, and community partners. Monthly meetings allow consortium members to share their activities and network. Highlight STEM CORE projects and activities include a 3rd-8th grade teacher professional development program (funded by Department of Education, Title IIb through the math and science partnership program) supporting math and science project-based teaching known as Content in Context SuperLessons, a STEM school project with a local middle school, the Scholarships for Oregon Scientists program (funded by NSF's S-STEM program), and high school physical science teacher professional development (in partnership with a physics faculty member awarded an NSF research grant).
Elements Contributing to Success
The recent establishment of STEM CORE represents the shared interests and vision of science and education faculty derived from a number of successful outreach activities. Activities rely on strong connections to the education community.