MTU grant to help science education in schools

Michigan Tech announced that it has received a $5 million grant that they will use to reform middle school science education.

The three-year grant was presented to MTU by the Midland-based Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation.  The foundation will be funding the Michigan Science Teaching and Assessment Reform Program.

Dr. Brad Baltensperger, a MTU research professor, said the program will shake up how science is taught in the classroom.

“This project is really about a new science curriculum for the middle school, new assessments to determine if the students are learning and new preparation for teachers, whether it’s new teachers or existing teachers, so that they’d be prepared to teach this new high-standards science curriculum,” he said.

The program focuses on integrating sciences using a problem-based approach to show how science can be used to address society’s needs.  Baltensperger said this jolt in the system is long overdue.

“Science performance really needs to ramp up if we’re going to produce the number of graduates, whether it’s high school or college graduates, who are prepared for a STEM career,” he said.

Among the partner schools currently involved in the program are Calumet and Houghton schools, as well as downstate classrooms at Midland, Grand Rapids, and Eaton Rapids schools.