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Professor enhancing STEM education through a National Science Foundation grant

June 8, 2010

Michael De Miranda, engineering education professor in the School of Education and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Colleges of Applied Human Sciences and Engineering, is the co-investigator on a $2.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation which is training graduate students on cutting-edge research while also preparing them to share their knowledge with K-12 teachers and industry.

Graduate students serve as fellows

Graduate fellow Cheryl Hartshorn (left), with a high school biology student.

De Miranda and fellow CSU faculty members Tom Chen in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Stuart Tobet in Biomedical Sciences are collaborating on the interdisciplinary project.

Graduate students at Colorado State serve as fellows in the program and are from different disciplines including:

The project is focused on promoting multidisciplinary research and teaching in the area of discovery and understanding of cell communication.

Generate excitement, career interest

The graduate student fellows are charged with sharing what they've learned with K-12 teachers across the region. The teacher/mentors all teach in the STEM disciplines at their respective schools. The grant has a goal to infuse K-12 students with excitement for careers in the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math.

“Closing the educational cycle by bringing advanced research topics back into the high school STEM classrooms will help generate interest and more important, make relevant educational and career connections for students,” said De Miranda.

Significant progress in just one year

After just one year of the program, the team has made significant progress, identifying goals and setting up infrastructure to run the program.

Highlights include:

Research – the STEM graduate fellows have produced a total of seven academic papers that are either published, accepted for publication, or submitted for publication.

Lesson Plans – The fellows and the teachers have worked together to produce a total of 21 lesson plans in the areas of biology, chemistry, engineering, and mathematics.

Lab Materials – The fellows and the teachers have produced a total of 26 sets of lab materials and “thinking activity” materials to accompany the new lesson plans.

Outreach – The project has expanded its reach to Montezuma Cortez High School in Southern Colorado during the first year and will continue to include them in the future.

All of the STEM lessons, labs, inquiry and design challenges, projects, and teacher support materials can be found at

Contact: Gretchen Gerding
Phone: (970) 491-5182