We are excited to announce Wake/UTD’s involvement in a newly-funded initiative that will strengthen STEM education in the Piedmont Triad. Called “Math and PBL for Student Success” or MAPSS, this 1.6 million dollar project will help 240 teachers in five districts chart a multi-faceted approach to better implementation of the new North Carolina Standard Course of Study for mathematics.
One key component of the project will be the creation of a Regional Mathematics Content and Leadership Institute supported by a variety of partners. WFPBL and our partner for Project-Based Learning, the University of Texas at Dallas, will lead the Institute’s efforts to help teachers discover the benefits of inquiry-based instructional strategies.
Over the course of three years, teachers from Mount Airy City Schools, Lexington City Schools, Alamance-Burlington Schools, Randolph County Schools and Davidson County Schools will be trained to create learning environments that thrive on Problem and Project-Based Learning. Professional development seminars will help teachers grasp the fundamental principles of inquiry-based instruction; Summer STEM Camps for students will give teachers valuable hands-on practice in using PBL; and teachers will be given permanent access to a collection of PBL cases designed for mathematics instruction.
In addition to providing training and resources, the Institute will build support for teachers in two other important ways. First, it will deepen and expand the opportunities to build content knowledge by facilitating collaborative relationships with faculty at institutions such as Wake Forest University and the University of Texas at Dallas. Second, but perhaps most vitally, Dr. Larry Coble of the Piedmont Triad Education Consortium (PTEC) will provide teachers with the strategic leadership training necessary to help make changes lasting and sustainable.
According to Dr. Coble, “This is the first time that the combination of Problem-Based Learning, Project-Based Learning and leadership development will be made available for our K-8 teachers in the Piedmont. This partnership should have a direct impact on the academic achievement of the students served by the participating districts. Over time, we are hopeful that this initiative will be expanded to include all of the districts in the Piedmont Triad Education Consortium.”