Hendrix Awarded $1.1 Million National Science Foundation Grant

Hendrix College was awarded a $1,118,063 grant from the National Science Foundation.

The grant will support a five-year education research project to recruit and prepare 19 outstanding STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) majors to teach in secondary high-need schools (grades 7-12) in the Arkansas Delta, in addition to supporting them during their first two years of teaching in the Delta.

Two major initiatives of the program are the N-STEAD Scholars program and the N-STEAD Internship.  The scholars program will recruit STEM majors into teaching by significantly reducing the cost of teacher licensure through awarding scholars $15,000 a year (renewable for one additional year) if they commit to teaching in a high-need Delta school. The internship will allow freshman and sophomore STEM majors to teach within an informal STEM context. Students will be introduced to the academic field of science education through planning lessons, presenting science to children, and assessing the outcomes through participation in a low-risk environment, the local science outreach program known as Ridin' Dirty with Science.

The project will be led by Hendrix education and science faculty members Dr. Dionne B. Jackson (education), Dr. Liz U. Gron (chemistry), Dr. Todd Tinsley (physics), and Dr. James Jennings (education).

"There is a need for additional highly qualified STEM teachers in the Arkansas Delta. The funds from this grant will support the placement and retention of highly qualified STEM teachers in the Delta," said Dr. Jackson. "The impact these teachers will have on their students, districts, and communities is limitless."

"This grant recognizes both the excellence of the science programs at Hendrix and the important work our education department has been doing with the public schools in the Delta," said Hendrix Provost Dr. Robert L. Entzminger. "It will allow us to focus our attention on a crucial need in Arkansas and at the same time provide our students with opportunities to put their knowledge and skills to immediate use."



Nine Arkansas Tech University students are spread out across the country learning more about the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through a variety of internship opportunities this summer.
The internships were arranged through the efforts of Dr. Mostafa Hemmati, professor of physics and director of the Arkansas Tech Office of Undergraduate Research; and Dr. Patricia Buford, associate professor of electrical engineering and head of the Department of Electrical Engineering.
Obtaining internship opportunities for students with organizations such as NASA and the National Science Foundation is one aspect of Arkansas Tech's commitment to STEM education.
In 2011, Gov. Mike Beebe outlined the importance of the STEM fields to Arkansas' economic development.
“The STEM fields offer stable, well-paying careers for the 21st century, and the demand continues to grow at a rapid pace,” said Gov. Beebe in a news release from his office on Aug. 17, 2011. “These are positions that companies are struggling to fill, even in tough economic times. If we are to continue to attract these types of companies to Arkansas, we must prepare our young people with high-tech skills and build a workforce that will help our state prosper.”
Click on the links below to read more about nine Arkansas Tech students engaged in STEM internship opportunities this summer:

Matthew Wyatt 




UCA STEMTeach Program to Begin Fall 2012


The University of Central Arkansas is among three state universities selected to implement UTeach in the fall.

UTeach is part of STEM Works, an initiative of Gov. Mike Beebe's Workforce Cabinet designed to bring systemic change to teaching and learning in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines.

The UTeach program originated at the University of Texas at Austin as a way to prepare secondary science, math and computer science teachers. The program has expanded to 33 universities in 16 states.

STEM Works recently awarded UCA $216,666 to support the program. This is the first year of the multi-year grant.

“The UCA STEMTeach will allow students to explore teaching, obtain licensure and to simultaneously earn a degree with their chosen STEM discipline,” said Dr. Steve Runge, UCA interim provost and vice president of academic affairs. “This is a very positive change that we anticipate will significantly grow the number of licensed teachers we graduate from the science and math education programs at UCA.”

STEM education and the production of a STEM-trained workforce are critically important in order to build a knowledge-based economy, Runge added.

“Placing more of these teachers in Arkansas schools, who will be trained in ways to deliver very exciting science and mathematics courses for Arkansas students, will hopefully result in more students wanting to pursue a college education and ultimately a career in a STEM field,” he explained.

Dr. Steve Addison, interim dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Dr. Gary Bunn, an assistant professor in the College of Education, are the co-directors for the UCA UTeach program.

Addison said the program will make a difference in STEM teacher preparation for the state.

“We will be able to prepare students to compete in the emerging global economy, and these students will be prepared to adapt to the changes they will experience over their careers,” he said.

The program will change the way that teachers teach, making it an inquiry-based learning classroom, Addison added.

“This focus will enable teachers to develop classrooms that are learning-centered rather than teacher-centered,” Addison said. “Our graduates will also be well-versed in project based learning. Inquiry-based learning and project -based learning are the hallmarks of the New Tech high schools that are included with UTeach in Governor Beebe's STEM Works initiative.”

UCA STEMTeach program will complement existing programs and strengthen the quality of math and science teachers, said Bunn.

UCA offers the Partnership for Transition to Teaching program which recruits mid-career professionals and recent graduates with degrees outside of education and then helps these individuals become teachers through UCA’s Master of Arts in Teaching program.

“The Transition to Teaching program already provides resources for recruiting, preparing and retaining math/science teachers on the graduate level. Now, we have similar resources to prepare undergraduate math/science candidates,” Bunn said.

The university also offers a support system for teachers through its UCA STEM Institute. The institute provides high quality, innovative STEM educational opportunities through professional development, research, K-12 outreach, and sharing of instructional resources.

“Continuing to offer innovative and strong programs is only appropriate with UCA's long history as the state's university for teacher education,” Bunn said. “Combined with UCA's STEM institute and STEM Residential College, the University will have a comprehensive approach to provide support for teacher candidates from the moment that they enter the university to induction support upon graduation to professional development throughout their careers. For this university, UTeach is a natural fit.”



 UAM Graduating Record Numbers In Teacher Education, Filling Need For Math-Science Teachers 


Arkansas faces a critical shortage of qualified mathematics and science teachers, but help is on the way.


The University of Arkansas at Monticello recently graduated a record number of teacher education students, many who are choosing mathematics or science as their content area. UAM has also doubled the number of mathematics and science teachers currently enrolled in its master of arts in teaching (M.A.T.) degree program who will graduate in 2013.


The increases are a result of a collaborative effort between UAM’s School of Education, School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, the UAM STEM Center, and the Education Renewal Zone to encourage students majoring in mathematics or science to consider careers in teaching.


 Last August, Governor Mike Beebe and his Workforce Cabinet created a pilot program called STEM Works to improve education in high schools and universities in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. “Improving education in these areas is vitally important to the future of our state,” said R. David Ray, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “It is essential that we work to increase the number of STEM teachers in this region.”


“Arkansas and the nation as a whole need more highly qualified math and science educators,”  added Dr. Peggy Doss, dean of the School of Education. “It has become increasingly more difficult for school districts to find and employ qualified teachers in these areas. That’s why these numbers are so encouraging. Increasing the number of 2013 M.A.T. math and science students from 6 to 12 is a beginning, but only a beginning. We still have much work to do.”


UAM graduated 53 students with bachelor’s degrees in various licensure areas of teacher education, representing a 179 percent increase over last year’s 19 graduates. The School of Education has also made significant changes to ensure the quality of its graduates. UAM has the only teacher preparation program in the state that requires a year-long internship in which education students complete an academic year in the public schools during their last two semesters.


UAM recently entered into a memorandum of understanding with four school districts – Monticello, Drew Central, Rison, and McGehee (with more to come) – which will commit those districts to pay tuition for an M.A.T. student in a high-need licensure area in exchange for a commitment to teach in that district. The length of the teaching commitment varies from four to five years depending on the school district.


 “The steps we are taking are important ways to improve science and mathematics education in the region and state,” said Dr. Morris Bramlett, dean of the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences. “We are letting our students know that they have options following graduation, and one of those options is to teach. It’s vital that we increase the number of skilled science and math teachers.”


Bramlett, with the support of Tracie Jones, director of the UAM Education Renewal Zone, recently organized a reception for all mathematics and science majors and invited Doss and her faculty as well as public school administrators to speak to his students about teaching careers. McGehee Superintendent Thomas Gathen was among the school administrators from southeast Arkansas to attend the event.


“Thomas Gathen went above and beyond,” said Doss. “He came over and met with our math and science students and encouraged them to consider teaching as a career path. He helped blaze the trail.”


Doss and her faculty are also looking for ways to alleviate the next teacher shortage in the areas of English and foreign languages. Doss and Mark Spencer, dean of UAM’s School of Arts and Humanities, are exploring ways to encourage students in the humanities to consider teaching careers.


“We have developed a unique relationship between the School of Education and other academic units on campus,” Doss said. “I’m not sure you could find that kind of atmosphere of cooperation other places. Dr. Bramlett, Mr. Spencer and I are committed to working together and support each other’s efforts to improve education in Arkansas. This isn’t just something we should do; it’s something we must do. Our state’s future depends on it.”





Report Reveals Declining Share of Women in STEM Fields


Jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields are expected to grow by 17 percent between 2008 and 2018, nearly double the growth of all other fields. A new report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) confirms that women are underrepresented in all but one STEM field, and have been losing ground in receipt of STEM degrees from community colleges over the last decade.

According to IWPR’s report, Increasing Opportunities for Low-Income Women and Student Parents in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math at Community Colleges, the share of women pursuing degrees in STEM fields at community colleges is significantly declining. In 1997, women earned 33.8 percent of these degrees but that number dropped to 27.5 percent in 2007. Although women make up close to half of the labor force, only one in four STEM jobs is held by a woman.

Data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) found the number of women receiving certificates in STEM fields decreased by half in the last decade. Only a very small proportion of associate’s degrees in STEM fields are awarded to women of color, including African American women (3.3 percent); Hispanic women (2.2 percent); and Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander women (1.3 percent).

“As the nation works to improve access to community college credentials, it is critical that women and people of color have equal access to high quality degrees, such as those in STEM fields, that lead to family-sustaining wages. A number of exciting programs around the country are working to break those gender and race divides, and their techniques can serve as a model for other community colleges that want to equalize enrollment in STEM programs,” said Barbara Gault, Ph.D., Vice President and Executive Director of IWPR.

The report outlines recommendations for improving access to STEM programs for women, particularly low-income women attending community colleges, and provides snapshots of some of the most promising programs from across the country that target women.

“Investing in STEM education for low-income women and student parents is a win-win strategy,” said Cynthia Costello, author of the report. “It strengthens the economic security of American families, and expands the number of highly-skilled STEM workers to make the nation more competitive in the 21st century.”


A podcast featuring Cynthia Costello is available to listeners for download. In the podcast, Costello explains how more women holding jobs in STEM fields would bring greater economic security to women and their families and improve the economic health of the nation as a whole. For more information, please visit




Arkansas Congressman to Advocate STEM Immigration Reform


This morning [December 15, 2011], Arkansas Republican Rep. Tim Griffin announced he will introduce a bill to make it easier for highly-skilled immigrantsto stay in the country, according to U.S. News's Mallie Jane Kim

The bill would presumably allow immigrants working in the United States on an H1-B Visa—often awarded to foreign engineers, mathematicians, and programmers—to stay longer, perhaps indefinitely.
"We've got teams and other countries have teams," Griffin said. "Right now, we are going to their countries; we're finding the best athletes; we're bringing them to our team. We're training them, we're making them awesome, and sending them back to beat us," he said. "We've got to stop that."

Last week, a group of CEOs argued for similar reform at amanufacturing conference in Washington, D.C. Keith Williams, CEO of Underwriters Laboratories, a company that designs scientific safety equipment, said that the U.S. "should staple a green card to [skilled foreign students'] diplomas."


Mr. William Walker, Jr., Director
Department of Workforce Education
Three Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR 72201


TEC and Surfware Grant Arkansas State University SURFCAM CAD/CAM Software Valued at $756,000

As a further commitment to supporting S.T.E.M Education and cultivating the next generation of technical-engineers, Technology Education Concepts (TEC) – the Nation’s leading provider of 3D Engineering products and resources to the Education industry – and Surfware, Inc. – the global leader in delivering CAM solutions to the Manufacturing Industry – announced today that they will be granting $756,000 worth of Surfware’s market-leading SURFCAM CAD/CAM software to Arkansas State University, the Northeast Arkansas Career & Technical Center, and Reverend Dr. Charles Coleman, ASU’s Director of Technology.

“We at TEC are very impressed with the efforts Dr. Coleman and Arkansas State University have contributed to the future of Technical Education via their Engineering and Technology Programs,” said Jeffrey Hapgood, General Manager of Technology Education Concepts. “TEC’s continuing goal is keep the U.S. technically competitive; through giving our children – our students – relevant Engineering and Design education and the applied technical skills that SURFCAM represents to address current and future manufacturing challenges. TEC’s comprehensive technology-education curricula solutions, Surfware’s leading CAD/CAM software, and the stellar programs Arkansas State University offers and delivers will ensure those needs are met.”

Peter Marton, Vice President of Surfware, added, “Surfware is pleased to be able to offer its support to Arkansas State University’s technical education. ASU, Tech Ed Concepts and Surfware have aligned to assist manufacturing companies to become more competitive and profitable by educating tomorrow’s workforce in our industry.”

“With TEC and Surfware’s generous help,” Reverend Dr. Coleman stated, “we will be able to reach and impact students far beyond the walls of Arkansas State University. We are working with NEA Career & Technical Center to bring high school students from 13 different schools around the City of Jonesboro to gain immersive instruction on software and machines. In addition, we are hoping to give technical CAM course-credits to these high schools. While the program is small now, our goal is to extend our helping hands to these students – who are our future – as far as possible.”

Some of the new SURFCAM v5 exceptional features for 4- and 5-axis programming are:

* New 3-axis Z-Finish routines
* Selectable operations in the Operations Manager for posting
* Updated lathe package

Surfware, Inc., the developer of SURFCAM CAD/CAM systems and the award-winning TrueMill technology, provides world class solutions for today's manufacturing challenges. Surfware, Inc. is dedicated to continuous innovation and development of new technologies that increase customers' machining productivity and profitability. Surfware's goals are to provide top-quality technology, customer service and world class solutions that allow its customers to gain a competitive edge in a changing global marketplace.

Since 1987, Technology Education Concepts (TEC) has helped Technical Educators and Students solve problems and develop new educational approaches through 3D-Engineering Software, Hardware, and Curriculum Solutions that make America’s Technical Education programs’ Smarter, more Interactive, more Productive, and more Fun. The Nation’s leading provider of 3D Engineering products and resources to the Education industry, TEC innovates through sales, design, and service operations throughout the 50 states. For more information, go to or call 1-800-338-2238 or



University of Arkansas
College of Education and Health Professions
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
214 Peabody Hall
Fayetteville, AR 72701
Tel: (479) 575-5119 Fax: (479) 575-3319