UND STEM Initiative

The University of North Dakota STEM Initiative seeks to coordinate UND STEM expertise to enhance Undergraduate STEM Education, Integrative STEAM Education, and STEAM for All - through interdisciplinary collaboration in teaching & learning, research, and outreach that contribute to STEM workforce development in North Dakota.

College of Education and Human Development, University of North Dakota
Established: 2014


Profile submitted by Dr. Robert W. Pawloski

Vision and Goals

The broad goals of the University of North Dakota STEM Initiative include:
* Facilitate communication about professional development, collaborative funding and connections across UND as well as industry, community and state regarding STEM Education.
* Develop a coherent entry point for K12 schools, industry, state and community to interact with STEM experts and programs at UND.
* Identify existing STEM Education research at UND and encourage further studies, and identify national trends in STEM Education.
* Complete a strategic planning document based on data, scientific frameworks, and UND context and culture that will result in a UND mission statement for STEM Education.

Center/Program Structure

Our STEM Center consists of a .5 FTE STEM Coordinator with dedicated office space and administrative support from the Dean's Office in the College of Education and Human Development. The STEM Coordinator is supported and guided by interdisciplinary faculty and staff that make up the STEM Faculty Work Group. The Work Group meets monthly and has wide representation from across campus units and departments, including: Teaching and Learning, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Geography, Mathematics, Engineering, Computer Science, the School of Medicine, and the North Dakota Space Grant.

Description of Programming

A campus-wide survey identified 108 UND faculty or staff with STEM expertise and invited them to join a coalition. A face-to-face meeting was held in December 2014 with 50 providing input for the coalition. The STEM Faculty Work Group emerged from this meeting and the Coordinator, along with other members of the Work Group, have represented UND in a number of state level partnerships including the ND STEM Network, the ND Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the ND Science Teachers Association, the ND After School Partnership, the ND Science Center and the ND Space Grant.

Successes and Impacts

Since April 2015, three NSF STEM Grants have been submitted through collaborations emerging from the efforts of the Coordinator and the STEM Faculty Work Group. One interdisciplinary grant has recently been awarded from the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction's Math Science Partnership.

Elements Contributing to Success

Broad institutional support is demonstrated by ongoing funding secured from the UND College of Education and Human Development in partnership with the Colleges of Arts & Sciences and Engineering & Mines. The Office of the Provost provided seed money in the first year.

Supplemental Materials