Jack Hunt STEM Center
The Jack Hunt STEM Center will strive to become a regional leader in providing opportunities for engaged, student learning experiences, teacher preparation, continual professional development, and research in STEM education.
Eriksson College of Education, Austin Peay State University
Profile submitted by Philip Short
Vision and Goals
1) facilitate opportunities for authentic investigations and engaging, inquiry-based, STEM learning experiences for P-16 students,
2) prepare teacher candidates with effective pedagogical strategies to provide P-12 students across the state and nation with three-dimensional, inquiry-based and problem-based learning science lessons that are relevant to societal problems and issues,
3) offer quality professional development STEM workshops for Tennessee teachers,
4) conduct research on the effectiveness of novel instructional designs for STEM education and approaches to science-related social issues,
5) engage in state and national policy circles to advocate for increased support for STEM education to supply the science teacher pipeline and meet the growing demands for students pursuing STEM majors to fill expanding workforce voids,
6) create a citizenry equipped with foundational scientific knowledge and skills who understand problem-solving processes and can meaningfully contribute to current and future societal solutions as a citizenry capable of critical thought.
The Jack Hunt STEM Center is a small, relatively new unit housed in the Eriksson College of Education. The Center exists in a shared space which serves science methods classes, professional development of in-service teachers, provides science activity days for K-12 students, and offers a science materials loan program for area teachers. The Center is administered by one faculty member assisted by a graduate assistant. A new MOU between the College of Education and College of STEM is leading to greater collaboration and joint oversight of the Center.
Are there advantages of being structured this way?
Given the size of the university, having a small center with limited outreach does allow the one faculty member to function effectively within the scope of the current activity boundaries.
Are there particular challenges that result from this structure?
There is a desire to have impacts over a larger portion of our service region and conduct research on the effectiveness of our efforts. The budget, lack of human resources, and confines of a small space limit the more ambitious goals of the Center.
The Jack Hunt STEM Center was established with a generous donation, but is not sustained with any appreciable funds. Funding is allocated on a year-by-year basis from limited college funds.
How has this funding structure influenced the undergraduate STEM education programming the center offers?
More support could be offered to both preservice and inservice teachers if sustainable funding was available.
What are the specific advantages of having a center funded in this way?
What are the challenges?
Has this funding structure has changed over time?
Description of Programming
Successes and Impacts
Evaluation and Assessment
How does your center demonstrate its value, both in terms of assessing its own programming and responding to external evaluation?