Date: July 7, 2017
The Maine Mathematics & Science Alliance (MMSA) has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for $1.85 million to provide innovative training for out-of-school educators, including librarians, to allow them to bring Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) into their communities.
MMSA’s ACRES project (Afterschool Coaching for Rural Educators in STEM) has been piloted in Maine over the last two years and will soon be formally launched in an entirely online format.
Never has there been a greater need to reach rural educators, specifically those teaching in afterschool environments. Rural students are only half as likely to have STEM experiences as their urban counterparts, even when socioeconomic factors are taken into consideration. This project will begin to bridge the gaps in the STEM workforce. Rural afterschool educators, including librarians, have limited access to support and quality training due to distance and limited finances. Often they feel isolated. The ACRES project will change that for afterschool educators in Maine and across the country. MMSA will create virtual cohorts to connect providers and train coaches over the next three years. Well over 14,000 youth and roughly 500 program providers are expected to be impacted by this professional development model.
Full details of the project and grant can be found here: https://mmsa.org/2017/06/acres-nsf-asil/
Perrin Chick, ACRES Project Manager