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Oct. 21, 2005
CONTACT: Pam Young
734.487.4400
pamela.young@emich.edu

EMU receives $1.5 million grant from National Science Foundation to help increase science grads

YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University was recently awarded a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop the Creative Scientific Inquiry Experience (CSIE), a program designed to increase the number of science and math graduates.  The grant is part of the NSF’s highly competitive science talent expansion program, which focuses on increasing the number of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates.

EMU’s project, entitled “Creative Scientific Inquiry Experience:  Developing Integrated Science Curriculum to increase STEM Graduates,” is designed to increase the number of students graduating in STEM.  The program will offer theme-linked courses with academic service-learning experiences and career exploration for students.

“I’m ecstatic that our proposal was approved on the first try. It shows that the NSF recognizes the excellence of EMU’s science, mathematics and technology programs,” said Nina Tratras Contis, principal investigator for the project and associate vice president of academic affairs for undergraduate studies and curriculum.  “This five-year project gives EMU a strong investment in and commitment to the future of our STEM graduates.”

“Universities nationwide understand that science majors often drop out of math and science by their sophomore year,” said Joanne Caniglia, co-principal investigator and professor of mathematics. “EMU’s proposal envisions developing an innovative model that recruits, retains and graduates students with math and science majors.”

“This program will allow us to integrate math and science courses. For example, a faculty member who teaches calculus would create questions which connect with the sciences,” said Caniglia. “These will be specialized courses with a core theme that unifies them. Faculty from math and science will have time to prepare and work together. It’s the ideal way to teach.”

Kathy Stacey, co-principal investigator, professor of communications and theatre arts, and director of the Academic Service-Learning program on campus, said they plan to involve faculty as faculty fellows to develop and teach the theme-linked courses and to provide academic service projects for students, either through research or academic community service that deals with science.

“Our proposal takes a collaborative interdisciplinary approach which links various courses with related research/service components,” said Stacey.

“This is very exciting,” said Caniglia. “EMU is so poised for this because we have such strong academics. We integrate service, scholarship and application so well.”

Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.

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Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.


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