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12-08-1999

Three North Country School Districts To Benefit From $956,000 National Science Foundation Grant To Clarkson University

Three North Country school districts will benefit from a $956,000 grant recently awarded to Clarkson University by the National Science Foundation.

Environmental Engineering Professor Susan E. Powers, Health Sciences Professor John. W. Mills and Vice President for Academic Affairs Anthony G. Collins received the three-year grant under the “Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education program.”

The grant will be carried out in collaboration with the Potsdam, Colton-Pierrepont, and Parishville-Hopkinton School districts.  The NSF program’s goal is to boost the content of elementary and secondary education, and the quality of graduate and undergraduate education at the same time. 

Under the Clarkson program, graduate students and advanced undergraduate students will, in collaboration with the classroom teachers, direct yearlong projects. They will emphasize the development and application of learning and skills in science, mathematics, engineering and technology.

The focus of the learning experience will be based on the principle of “problem-based learning,” where students are given a real-world problem and then, with guidance from the Clarkson students, develop a solution to that problem. The projects will emphasize experiential learning and will provide for the rapid transfer of scientific and technological advancements to the K-12 classroom.

Rita Colwell, director of the National Science Foundation, says that this sort of collaboration between universities and local school districts will strengthen relationships between universities and communities. She adds that the balance of give-and-take between all educational levels gives the promise of a classic win-win situation.

College students considering a graduate program in engineering or science, who may be interested in developing teaching experience and expertise in transferring science and technology to the classroom, are encouraged to apply to the Graduate School at Clarkson University at 315-268-6474.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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