UNCW to Host Conference for STEM Teachers May 20

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Middle and high school teachers from southeastern North Carolina will gather in UNCW’s Education Building on May 20 for a day of workshops to help them incorporate science, technology, engineering and math concepts into their regular curriculum. The conference will include faculty presentations from the Watson College of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as working sessions for STEM teachers and higher education faculty.

The conference will introduce participating teachers to the new Integrated STEM graduate certificate program, which will begin in spring 2018. The iSTEM program, one of the first of its kind in the nation, is designed for secondary mathematics, science and computer science teachers who want to lead STEM education programs in their schools.

“We wanted to bring STEM teachers and UNCW faculty together to learn from each other,” said WCE professor Mahnaz Moallem, coordinator of the iSTEM graduate program and co-coordinator of a related iSTEM undergraduate minor. “Our faculty is eager to help them enhance and broaden STEM instruction in their schools.”

Conference organizers hope some of the teachers in attendance will enroll in the new iSTEM graduate certificate program. UNCW’s Graduate School is accepting applications for the program’s first cohort. Students will complete 18 credit hours of graduate-level courses, field placements and projects in a program designed for working professionals. Some courses will be on campus and others will be offered online.

 UNCW’s Strategic Plan encourages university collaboration with the community on common objectives like North Carolina’s emphasis on strengthening STEM education.

In fall 2017, WCE and CAS will launch an iSTEM undergraduate minor for incoming freshmen. Students who plan to major in a STEM-oriented discipline may simultaneously earn credits toward a teaching certificate. The program is designed to expand career options for science, technology and math majors while still enabling students to graduate within four years.

 -- Tricia Vance