The recruitment and retention of K-12 teachers continues to be a challenge in Utah, and this has significant impacts on the math and science education of K-12 students. The Center for Science and Mathematics Education (CSME) enhances the quality and equity of K-12 math and science education by supporting math and science teachers and providing professional development opportunities to advance their teaching practice. Programs and initiatives are developed and implemented in collaboration with partners such as the Utah State Board of Education, local school districts, and community organizations. CSME currently offers several opportunities for teachers, including academic programs, workshops, leadership training, and research experiences. Emphasis is placed on empowering teachers to be highly effective when instructing diverse groups of students.
CSME gives practicing K-12 math and science teachers the opportunity to engage with University of Utah faculty while developing in-depth content knowledge and inclusive pedagogical techniques. Programs are cohort-based and include:
- Elementary STEM Endorsement, a six-course, two-year sequence offered in partnership with the Urban Institute for Teacher Education and Granite and Salt Lake City school districts.
- Master of Science for Secondary School Teachers (MSSST), a content-specific graduate program for practicing science teachers.
Workshops & Seminars
CSME responds to the changing landscape of K-12 education and provides timely workshops and seminars as the need arises. Recent examples include:
- A week-long workshop – the SEEd Swap – that provided curriculum materials and support for 6-8th grade teachers in the implementation of the new Utah Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) standards.
- An intensive, field-based Workshop on Math & Earth Science that explored the connections between traditional Navajo knowledge and western science while developing skills for teaching diverse students.
Leadership & Research
CSME provides K-12 teachers with opportunities for skill development, including leadership training and science research experience. Activities in this area include:
- The Teacher Leadership Cohort, a select group of teachers from the Elementary STEM Endorsement who engage in a year-long leadership development program.
- Teacher Research Fellows, secondary teachers who are immersed in a 4-week scientific research experience with a university faculty member.
- Research opportunities which are incorporated within the Master of Science for Secondary School Teachers (MSSST) program.
- CSME’s leadership role in the Collaborative Around Research Experiences for Teachers (CARET).