Archived Projects

Minority Student Pipeline Math Science Partnership (MSP)2- Awarded by the Math Science Partnership program of the National Science Foundation in 2008, (MSP)2 is a 5-year, $12.4-million project aimed at strengthening the pipeline of minority students into careers in science and science teaching. It is a partnership of Bowie State University, TU, UMCP, the USM Office (all USM institutions), Prince George's County Public Schools and Prince George's Community College. The partnership provides high-quality professional development for K-12 teachers, early college science courses for high-school students, and experiences in teaching and research for undergraduate science majors, all with a focus on research-based, inquiry-oriented science instruction. These initiatives are intended to improve science instruction at the K-12 level and increase the number of students at all levels who pursue science and science teaching. Please contact Nancy Shapiro for further information.

Computer Science Education Expansion Grant - USM VCAA P-20 Office received a new Computer Science Education Expansion to the Minority Student Pipeline project.  The $500,000 award is a supplemental grant from NSF, continuing the partnership among USM, UMCP, and Prince George’s County Public Schools. The project will use our successful model of partnership-driven, inquiry-oriented professional development, modified by collaboration with the NSF-funded Structured CS Principles project, to prepare teachers in Prince George’s County to teach rigorous computer science (CS) lessons and courses. Approximately 15 teachers will ultimately be supported in implementing the Advanced-Placement Computer Science: Principles course in at least five schools, doubling the number of computer science courses offered in the county and bringing nationally designed and piloted courses to approximately 500 more students. This effort promises to further strengthen the minority student pipeline into STEM majors and careers by expanding the opportunities for these students into computer science.  Please contact Nancy Shapiro for further information.

MADE CLEAR CCEP-II Grant - The Maryland-Delaware Climate Change Education, Assessment, and Research partnership (MADE CLEAR) $6.2 million grant is building a sustainable infrastructure for effective and relevant climate change education within a two-state region. While MADE CLEAR focuses on formal education in grades 8-12, the partnership also reaches a broad spectrum of learners by educating teachers at universities and students of all ages through additional venues such as museums, aquaria, and nature centers. Through ongoing evaluation, the partnership is continuously improving how climate change education is delivered to students in Maryland and Delaware, and the lessons learned from this partnership are helping to craft education models that can be applied in other locations across the country. MADE CLEAR is led by faculty members at core institutions in Delaware and the University System of Maryland, including the University of Delaware, Delaware State University, the University of Maryland, College Park, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, and Towson University; as well as the Maryland and Delaware Departments of Education and Maryland Public Television. MADE CLEAR is an outgrowth of the states' similar natural environments and climates, and their active approaches to education reform and climate change responsiveness. 

MADE CLEAR approaches specific goals and objectives through the structured engagement of educational researchers and practitioners, regional scientists and scientific institutions, and state and federal government agencies. The projects' four primary goals are: 

  1. Infuse climate change concepts in all aspects of education by engaging the scientific community in collaboration with educators; 
  2.  Build sustainable infrastructure for climate change education through teacher education and professional development; 
  3. Draw broader lessons about research and assessment to create climate education models that can be applied in other regions based on the local socio-cultural diversity; and
  4. Advance effective practice of climate change education in the Maryland-Delaware region and beyond. 

MADE CLEAR is supporting the development and distribution of teaching strategies, resources, and materials that integrate climate change science with classroom and out-of-school teaching and learning opportunities. The partnership is also promoting research on climate-related teaching and learning formats, ultimately helping to craft evidence-based educational approaches and instructional practices that deepen teacher knowledge and student understanding of climate science. 

MADE CLEAR is connecting Maryland and Delaware citizens with the world in which they live by fostering greater awareness of climate change in the local environment. The partnership empowers residents to consider the impacts of their individual and collective choices that can limit the magnitude of climate change and adapt to its consequences. Through the four overarching goals outlined above, MADE CLEAR is building an enduring capacity for climate-relevant education in Maryland and Delaware, and serves as a national model for comprehensive climate change education that is adaptable and responsive to the socio-cultural diversity of different teaching settings. The partnership is developing new models of professional development that account for climate learning progressions, contributing to a greater understanding of how evidence-based practices improve the efficacy of climate change teaching and learning practices.

This project is one of six Phase II projects being funded through the Climate Change Education Partnership (CCEP) program. The CCEP program was developed as part of the NSF Climate Change Education program, established through Congressional appropriations in FY 2009. The CCEP program is a one-time, dedicated NSF effort to establish a coordinated national network of regionally- or thematically-based partnerships devoted to increasing the adoption of effective, high quality educational programs and resources related to the science of climate change and its impacts.

The CCEP portfolio encompasses a major interdisciplinary research and development effort designed to promote deeper understanding of, and engagement with, climate system science and the impacts of climate change on natural and human systems. The vision of this program is a scientifically literate society that can effectively weigh the evidence regarding global climate change as it confronts the challenges ahead, while preparing the innovative scientific and technical workforce to advance our knowledge of human-climate interactions and develop approaches for a sustainable, prosperous future. Each CCEP is required to incorporate innovative collaborations among expertise of climate scientists, learning scientists, and education practitioners in either formal or informal learning environments to research, design, and test new models and strategies for effective teaching and learning about climate science. With its focus on interdisciplinary approaches and transformative scales of impact, the CCEP program occupies a unique and complementary niche in the portfolio of Federal investments related to climate science education and workforce development. Please contact Nancy Shapiro for further information.

Vertically Integrated Partnership K-16 (VIP K-16)- National Science Foundation Math and Science Partnership Grant Vertically Integrated Partnerships K-16 (Project VIP K-16, 2002). The USM developed this $7.5 million K-16 partnership with UMCP, UMBI, Towson, UMBC, UMCES, Sea Grant College, Shady Grove Center, and Montgomery College, along with the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). VIP K-16 serves all MCPS high school core science teachers over 5 years. Participants are organized in Professional Learning Communities consisting of high school science teachers, college faculty, undergraduate students, and graduate students (VIP Teams). Please contact Nancy Shapiro for further information.

Change and Sustainability in Higher Education (CASHE)- National Science Foundation awarded USM a supplemental grant of $500,000 for three years (2004-2007) to study Change and Sustainability in Higher Education (CASHE). The CASHE Project proposes to study a particular aspect of higher education institutional change: change that results in STEM faculty strengthening their own teaching practices and expanding their work in K-20 mathematics and science education, including K-12 teacher preparation and professional development. The project will focus on changes that have been supported by NSF MSP that expand and deepen the capacity in higher education to support the reform of science and mathematics education through the meaningful engagement of faculty in K-12 education. The project will also examine K-16 (P-20) partnerships and identify examples of promising practice that establish cultures of organizational support for sustainable partnerships. Please contact Nancy Shapiro for further information.

      CASHE Final Report
      CASHE Final Report Appendices

Education Equals Mentoring, Coaching, and Cohorts (E=MC2)-U. S. Department of Education Teacher Quality Enhancement Grant: Education equals Mentoring, Coaching, and Cohorts (E=mc2, 2003). USM was awarded its second highly competitive five-year $6.4 million grant to improve teacher quality and student achievement in the Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS). The USM led the creation of new partnership relationships between University of Maryland - College Park, Coppin State University, Towson University, Baltimore City Community College, Baltimore City Public School System, and the Maryland Business Roundtable. This new partnership will draw from a host of resources and knowledge sources to improve the educational opportunities for Baltimore City students. Please contact Nancy Shapiro for further information.

Project Learning in Communities (Project LINC)- U.S. Department of Education Teacher Quality Enhancement Grant: Project Learning IN Communities (Project LINC, 2000). USM was awarded its first five year grant of $4.2 million to enhance the quality of the Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS). USM brought together UMCP, TU, BSU and PGCC to collaborate with the PGCPS toward three goals: 1. Increase the number of certified teachers at PGCPS; 2. Increase student achievement, 3. Build a strong induction program for new teachers to increase teacher retention. Please contact Nancy Shapiro for further information.

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers(PARCC) - PARCC is a consortium of states working together to develop a set of assessments that measure whether students are on track to be successful in college and their careers. These high quality, computer-based K-12 assessments in Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy are aligned to the Common Core State Standards and give teachers, schools, students, and parents better information whether students are on track in their learning and for success after high school, and tools to help teachers customize learning to meet student needs.

Maryland is one of the governing states in PARCC. Nancy Shapiro, USM Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Kathryn Barbour, Vice President for Academic Affairs & Economic Development at Chesapeake College, serve as the higher education leads who coordinate PARCC-related postsecondary engagement in the state. Together with our partners at the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) , led by Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery and K-12 leads, Henry Johnson and Jack Smith, we are working to help PARCC achieve the following goals:

Design high-quality, technology-based assessments Build a pathway to college and career readiness for all students Support educators in the classroom Advance accountability at all levels. Please contact Nancy Shapiro for further information.

Higher education productivity work - In 2009, Maryland received a Productivity Grant from the Lumina Foundation in an effort to make higher education more productive. Maryland, along with six other states (Arizona, Indiana, Montana, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas), engaged in a multi-state grant initiative to develop, implement, and sustain policies and practices that can expand the nation's degree production in a cost effective manner. The initiative engages states in pursuing strategic changes in policies and practices that will result in more college degrees for dollars invested. The Lumina Foundation's work in this area also includes supporting research on new higher education finance data systems and new models for delivery of higher education degrees and credentials. - See more at: #sthash.ED21k8E7.dpuf.
Maryland's grant ends at the end of 2014. Please click here to watch a recent animation produced as a result of the work completed during the five-year grant period. Please contact Nancy Shapiro for further information.

Academic/industry engagement research The purpose of this research is to understand the impact of academic and industry engagement with a specific focus in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The traditional activities of academic-industry engagement (e.g., commercialization and patents), particularly faculty research, grants, and publications that result from this work, are critically important to university funding and economic development (Rosenburg & Nelson, 1994). While this literature is important, the literature on academic and industry engagement is dominated by it and there is a considerable gap on the new frameworks and activities within academic-industry engagement (e.g., industry advisory boards, networking, career advising, mentorship) -relationship-based links that may be more closely tied to teaching and student outcomes. The research described in this study will add to the literature by exploring academic-industry engagement outside of traditional formal activities (e.g., human capital, commercialization) with a focus the impact of engagement on undergraduate STEM curriculum, teaching and student development.

The research is a three-phased mixed methods study. Phase I is data migration mining from three cohorts of first-time, full-time freshmen at Bowie State University, Towson University, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and University of Maryland, across three majors (computer science, mathematics, and engineering) and business majors are used as a control/comparison group (N = 3,958 for STEM and 2,305 for Business). Focus groups with students and focus groups/individual interviews with faculty/administrators in computer science, engineering, mathematics, and business (the control/comparison group) is Phase II of the study. Focus groups/individual interviews with career services professionals at each of the four institutions is Phase III. Please contact Nancy Shapiro for further information.

Maryland and Delaware Climate Change Education, Assessment and Research (MADE-CLEAR) - National Science Foundation Climate Change Education Program (CEEP) grant. The USM developed this $1 million, 2-year regional planning grant for climate change education with the University of Delaware, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, University of Maryland College Park, and Towson University. The focus of the grant is to establish a sustainable regional partnership; maximize the resources of our various organizations, segments and stakeholder communities to broadly promote climate change awareness and education; and to create a robust pipeline for a new generation of climate change scientists. Please contact Nancy Shapiro for further information.

Making Opportunity Affordable- Lumina Grant-Following a competitive application process involving 37 states, 11 states were invited by the Lumina Foundation for Education in 2008 to participate in a "Learning Year" to focus on higher education productivity through the "Making Opportunity Affordable" (MOA) initiative. Working with partner organizations and state and institutional grantees, MOA seeks to develop, implement, and sustain policies and practices that can expand the nation's degree production in a cost effective manner. The initiative engages states in pursuing strategic changes in policies and practices that will result in more college degrees for dollars invested. In addition to Maryland, the other selected states were Arizona, California, Colorado, Indiana, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. Currently, all 11 states are eligible to compete for a four-year, $2 million "Opportunity Grant" to implement their productivity plans. The RFP was released in July 2008, and up to five implementation grants will be awarded in November 2009.

In selecting Maryland for this initial round of "Learning Year" grants, Lumina was particularly interested in our state's commitment to higher education access and affordability, the work of the Commission to Develop the Maryland Model for Funding Higher Education (Bohanan Commission), the new Maryland State Plan for Postsecondary Education, the University System of Maryland's Effectiveness and Efficiency (E&E) Initiative, the Maryland Course Redesign Project (working with the National Center for Academic Transformation), and our long-standing statewide work in two-year to four-year transfer and articulation, including the Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT) degree and Associate of Science in Engineering (ASE) degree. Please contact Nancy Shapiro for further information.

USM STEM & Competitiveness Initiative

In the 2007 report Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future, the National Academies warned that "without high-quality, knowledge-intensive jobs and the innovative enterprises that lead to discovery and new technology," America's economic and strategic leadership in the world will erode and its citizens' quality-of-life will decline.

USM Chancellor William E. Kirwan has established a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) & Competitiveness Initiative to help ensure that Maryland has both the highly-skilled workforce and innovative education and business climate necessary to position the state for success in today's global knowledge economy.

The STEM & Competitiveness Initiative will focus USM resources on improving those factors that are critical to reaching this goal by:

  • increasing the number of STEM teachers graduating from USM institutions and pursuing teaching careers in the state;

  • preparing more of today's students for the STEM career opportunities of the future and improving K-12 STEM education;

  • utilizing the resources of higher education to foster innovation, entrepreneurship, and business development in STEM areas such as the life sciences, sustainable technology, and information technology.

STEM Task Forces

Chancellor Kirwan has created two presidential task forces to advance the work of Governor Martin O'Malley's STEM Commission and USM's system-wide initiative.

The first task force is focusing on competitiveness issues as they relate to research, knowledge creation, and translational research within the USM, and the impediments to technology-based economic growth within the state. University of Maryland, College Park President C. Dan Mote is chairing the task force.

The second task force is examining the issues of STEM workforce development and develop goals and strategies to ensure that Maryland has the number of skilled professionals in STEM areas to sustain a leading knowledge economy. Towson University President Bob Caret, who serves on the Governor's Workforce Investment Board, is chairing this task force.

The task forces have completed their recommendations and status reports and delivered them to the chancellor. These groups remain "on call" in support of the Governor's STEM Commission.


Use these links to learn more about how the USM STEM & Competitive Initiative is working to strengthen Maryland's knowledge economy.

Reports & Presentations

News Releases

Articles & Coverage

STEM Symposium 2009

Governor's STEM Task Force Report, August 6, 2009

E=MC2 Closeout Celebration Pictures