IUPUC Division of Education Receives $275,000 STEM Education Grant

November 15, 2021
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The Division of Education at IUPUC has received a $275,000 grant funded by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education’s STEM Teacher Recruitment Fund to enhance the SEISTEM (South East Indiana STEM) program that it has been operating since 2017.

SEISTEM, which is housed and managed by the Center for Teaching and Learning at IUPUC, has provided professional development for K- 8 in-service teachers in STEM content through workshops and summer classes since 2017. In addition, the project provides opportunities for in-service and pre-service teachers licensed or seeking licensure in non-STEM areas to develop the content knowledge necessary to obtain Indiana middle-grades (5-9) science or mathematics licensure, as well as elementary STEM licensure.

The primary SEISTEM goal aims at increasing science and math content knowledge of teachers in rural areas of southeastern Indiana and in high-poverty schools where there is a shortage of licensed math and science teachers.

The two-year grant will enable the launch of “SEISTEM 2.0” with a number of enhancements including:

  • Modifications to the workshop structure that results in a half-day of content-focused (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programming for STEM teachers of all experience levels, and half-day of teacher retainment programming for teachers in their first, second or third year of STEM teaching.
  • The offering of professional development workshops for teachers in various locations across the southeastern portion of the state to reach a diverse collection of elementary educators.
  • Summer programming that will include preparation towards successfully completing the new Elementary STEM licensure, as well as existing programming for middle grades science and mathematics licensure.
  • A focus on recruiting STEM teachers from under-represented groups, and building training around diversity, equity, and inclusion into both workshop and summer programming.
  • A new mentorship program to support STEM teachers in the first to third years of their career.

“The enhanced SEISTEM 2.0 program provides opportunities for teachers in our region to better serve their students, their schools, and their districts through building their content knowledge in the STEM disciplines,” said Crystal Walcott, Head of the Division of Education at IUPUC, and Principal Investigator of SEIMSTEM. “The southeast region of the state continues to struggle to fill teaching jobs in mathematics, science and technology. This program is aimed at supporting current teachers in providing highly effective STEM instruction in their classrooms and at establishing a new pool of highly qualified educators to fill open STEM teaching positions.”

Project Director, Karen Garrity, added, “Since 2017, SEISTEM has partnered with school districts in our region to support teachers in this high-need area. With increasing teacher salaries, such as recently announced for the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation, our hope is to attract a diverse pool of STEM educators to serve our region’s schools and students.”

The STEM Teacher Recruitment Fund was established by the Indiana General Assembly during the 2013 Legislative Session. The fund provides grants to high-performing organizations and programs working to increase the number of high-quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics teachers in Indiana school corporations encountering shortages of qualified teachers and in schools located in underserved areas.

For more information about the SIESTEM 2.0, email Crystal Walcott at walcottc@iupuc.edu. To learn more about IUPUC’s Division of Education, visit the website at www.iupuc.edu/education.