The National Minority Technology Council (NMTC) has presented its Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education to Paul Nussbaum, Campus Director of Academic Affairs at the Richmond, VA campus of ECPI University.
The award is given in recognition of Mr. Nussbaum’s leadership in the creation of the Teachers Teaching Teachers program offered by ECPI. It was presented yesterday at the U.S. News STEM Solutions Leadership Summit in Dallas, TX.
Teachers Teaching Teachers is a STEM program that assists local public school teachers gain their re-certification and also deliver STEM to the classroom. These classes are heavily subsidized by ECPI University to make them affordable to the teachers. More importantly, the coursework includes term projects in which the teachers create tools that they can immediately use in their classroom. For example, the recently completed Storyboarding for Animation class required teachers go beyond pictures and movies to create interactive web pages that students can click on and actively control.
“A critical component of STEM programs is to find initiatives that fit well into the classroom, but also deliver them in ways that teachers feel will be successful and will want to deploy,” explains Karl Cureton. “Unfortunately, many STEM funding dollars sit idle in programs that teachers do not see as valuable or have no time to deploy. That has not been the case with the program Paul Nussbaum has created at ECPI University. One of the reasons this program was selected to receive the Chairman’s Award for Excellence in STEM Education is that the response by the public school teachers has been overwhelming, with more classes being added to respond to the demand.”
“We had no idea that this program would be so popular, but we should have guessed it,” said Mr. Nussbaum. “The ECPI University faculty and their methods of technology instruction are career-focused and hands-on; a perfect fit for the dual goals of a rigorous college curriculum, and creating tools that teachers can immediately use in their classrooms. Thanks to the vision of ECPI management and the skill of our faculty, we are delivering on the STEM promise. We are currently looking for other sources of funding for this STEM initiative, as it may not be possible for ECPI to indefinitely continue this subsidy level, but I am sure we will find a way and expand this program to benefit more school districts.”