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UK Receives $22 Million Grant
to Enhance Math and Science Education

By Kelley Bozeman


Mathematics professor Paul Eakin is the grant's primary investigator.

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"This is a great day for UK and a great day for American education. There is no doubt that our knowledge-based economy demands skills in mathematics and science. This NSF funding will enable the University of Kentucky to help students throughout the state obtain greater math and science proficiency."

-- Lee T. Todd Jr.,
president,
University of Kentucky

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UK President Lee T. Todd Jr., left, discusses the grant as acting Provost Michael Nietzel listens.


Wimberly Royster, left, discusses the grant with acting Provost Michael Nietzel.

Oct. 2, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) -- The University of Kentucky has been awarded a $22 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to help strengthen and reform education in math and science in pre-K through grade 12 classrooms in Kentucky.

The five-year grant, which is part of NSF's Math and Science Partnership program - an anticipated investment of $240 million over five years in projects - is one of the largest single awards in UK's history.

A key facet of President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind education plan and the first investment in his five-year $1 billion math and science partnership initiative, these new partnership activities are designed to enhance the performance of American students in mathematics and science.

"This is a great day for UK and a great day for American education," said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. "There is no doubt that our knowledge-based economy demands skills in mathematics and science. This NSF funding will enable the University of Kentucky to help students throughout the state obtain greater math and science proficiency."

Paul Eakin, professor of mathematics in UK's College of Arts and Sciences and principal investigator on the project, said the program seeks to demonstrate improved student achievement in mathematics and science through the support of partnerships that unite the efforts of teachers, administrators and guidance counselors in local schools with administrators and faculty at area colleges and universities.

The Appalachian Mathematics and Science Partnership (AMSP), which is comprised of 52 school districts and nine institutions of higher education, implements four components to address the needs of the region: 1) preservice teacher and administrator education; 2) professional development of personnel in pre-K through grade 12 classrooms; 3) student learning opportunities, including parent/community engagement; and 4) research to advance the understanding of rural education reform.

"Our goals are to eliminate the achievement gap in science and mathematics in the Central Appalachian region and to build an integrated elementary, secondary and higher education system in this underserved region," said Eakin.

Wimberly Royster, former UK vice president for research and graduate studies and professor emeritus of mathematics, who is co-principal investigator and project director, said the program is designed to increase the number of teachers in mathematics and science in the rural areas.

"We want to develop courses and procedures whereby we can prepare preservice teachers to move into the rural districts and hit the ground running," Royster said.

"The university is thrilled by this award and the opportunity it creates for us to improve the education and achievements of students in math and science," said Mike Nietzel, UK's acting provost. "Under the leadership of Paul Eakin and Wimberly Royster, faculty at UK and several partner institutions have come together to design a creative and comprehensive program for improving many aspects of math and science education in Appalachia. We are excited to begin the work."

"Through a solid foundation in math and science our young people will be better prepared to face the high tech challenges of the future," said U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers. "This program will help equip Kentucky's students, particularly those in Appalachia, with the tools needed to succeed."

"A critical need exists in Kentucky for improved math and science learning. This type of project will change the way our students think and prepare for the future," U.S. Rep. Ernie Fletcher said.

UK, the lead partner in the project, will work with the Appalachian Rural Systemic Initiative (ARSI) at the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation and eight institutions of higher education, including Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky State University, Morehead State University, Pikeville College, Union College, University of Virginia College at Wise, University of Tennessee and Somerset Community College. Other colleges and universities are expected to join as the project progresses. The AMSP further partners with the Pritchard Committee on Academic Excellence, the Appalachian College Association and the Kentucky Gear-Up project.

Other key personnel on the project include Ron Atwood, UK science education professor and co-principal investigator/science program component and research component; Steve Henderson, ARSI project director and co-principal investigator and director of program delivery; and Carl Lee, UK math professor and co-principal investigator/mathematics program component.

Please note: For more information about the NSF Grant please visit the following Web sites and refrence grant #0227028.

http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/news/02/pr0281.htm

https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a6/A6RC_THISWEEK.html

https://www.ehr.nsf.gov/msp/


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