McConnell secure funds for science and math education

Northern Kentucky University and the University of Louisville will receive $1.2 million dollars from federal government for science and math education and research.

Senator Mitch McConnell secured the funds for the two universities from the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education department in February.

The funds will support the second phase of a joint effort between NKU and U of L.

The endeavor, called U2PMAST, aims to find more qualified math and science teachers and improve low student achievement in math and science.

Northern Kentucky University President, James Votruba, said, “It is our goal to have hundreds of students attending summer science camps. Our future depends on having students who are advanced at the intersection of the sciences.”

The funds will be split between NKU’s Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics (CINSAM) and U of L’s Mathematics and Science Teacher Development, Education and Research Center (MASTER Center).

CINSAM will use the funds for teacher education, undergraduate research and better communication with local primary, secondary and middle schools.

The MASTER Center will use its funds for graduate and post-graduate research and teacher development.

CINSAM sponsors the Young Scholars in Math and Science program, which allows local grade and middle school students to participate in math and science camps at NKU. The camps are held both during the school year and in summer.

Students may use NKU’s new science center to engage in hands-on research and studies.

Dr. Phillip Schmidt, director of CINSAM, said, “Research shows that it is critical that children be exposed to the sciences in an active, non-intimidating way. This knowledge is driving our programs for students and teachers at CINSAM.”

CINSAM also trains math and science college students to think creatively in order to solve problems.

Faculty-aided “externships” are encouraged so that students may receive on-the-job training before entering the workforce.