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NSF Welcomes Twenty-eight New MSP Projects and Three New Program Directors

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NSF is pleased to welcome 28 new awardees to the MSP community (see attached list and notice). Among these are eight Targeted and four Institute Partnerships. For the first time, NSF also awarded nine MSP-Start Partnerships which provide support for the data gathering and analysis, project design and team-building activities that might lead to full-fledged partnerships. Continuing MSP's focus on encouraging research, Phase II awards were made to partnerships led by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University System of Georgia to conduct focused research on innovative components of their work that began in 2003 and show promise for national impact. Five new Research, Evaluation and Technical Assistance (RETA) awards were made.

We are also pleased to announce that new Program Directors have joined the MSP Team. They are Lance Perez, Daphne Rainey and Ginger Rowell.

Kathleen Bergin, Joyce Evans, Jim Hamos, Joan Prival, and Elizabeth VanderPutten continue as Program Directors. Philis Hauser is also with the team as science education analyst. Darnita Kizer and Michael Jugan provide outstanding administrative and technical support for the team.


Dan Maki
Lead Program Director, MSP

NSF Awards 28 New Grants for Math and Science Partnerships and Related Research

Further expanding the Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program -- one of the nation's key endeavors to bring together institutions of higher education and K-12 school districts to design and develop ideas on how best to improve the mathematics and science education of our youth - the National Science Foundation (NSF) is announcing 28 new awards, 12 to partnerships that will add to the knowledge being gathered from 52 previously funded partnerships, 9 to developing MSP-Start partnerships and 7 for research and capacity-building activities.

Among these are eight large Targeted Partnerships with grants amounting to a combined $81 million commitment in funding over five years. These projects aim to improve mathematics and science performance in specific disciplines or grade ranges. A project led by Jackson State University, and including astronomy centers from across the globe, will focus on high school physics, chemistry and earth science. Colorado State University will work with colleagues in the Long Term Ecological Research Network to study how to develop environmental science literacy in students by targeting core science and mathematics concepts complemented with citizenship. The University of Rhode Island and Bowie State University will lead broad efforts to impact teaching and learning of science in elementary through high school classrooms. Highlighting the teaching and learning of mathematics across the K-12 grade span will be novel projects led by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Texas Tech University. A project to be led by the University of Arkansas will consider college readiness in both mathematics and physics. The new UTeach Engineering program of the University of Texas at Austin will produce engineering educators who will teach recently adopted engineering courses in Texas high schools.

NSF named four new Institute Partnerships: Teacher Institutes for the 21st Century, representing an investment of more than $18.7 million over the next five years. The awards for teacher institutes continues the Foundation's effort to have mathematicians and scientists work with experienced teachers of mathematics and the sciences to deepen their knowledge of content, provide them with a repertoire of leadership strategies, and further their instructional skills so that they may become school- and district-based intellectual leaders in their fields. A new Institute partnership led by Lehman College of the City University of New York will study the benefits of conceptually-challenging mathematics, particularly in algebra and geometry, for teachers who have 4-10 years of experience. An Institute partnership targeting the north Rocky Mountains region also seeks to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics and will include the development of an online master's degree shared jointly by the Universities of Northern Colorado and Wyoming, in combination with a leadership program. Michigan Technological University will lead a new Institute partnership focusing on earth science education, and will include an innovative connection to the National Parks. The University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana Teacher Institute will highlight the development of Entrepreneurial Leadership skills for advanced teachers.

NSF also announced nine awards for MSP-Start Partnerships, the newest MSP program component and geared towards encouraging nascent partnerships by providing support for the data gathering and analysis, project design and team-building activities that might lead to full-fledged partnerships. For example, Mountain Empire Community College received a MSP-Start grant to study the successful transition of high school students to higher education and the role of a community college in the preparation of mathematics teachers. Morgan State University will work with partners to build the institutional infrastructure necessary to implement activities that integrate mathematical and biological concepts in a manner that can be incorporated into high school mathematics and science courses. A MSP-Start Partnership at the University of Texas-San Antonio will bring together all stakeholders from various demographic, civic and business groups to address local and regional gaps in student achievement in STEM education. Other MSP-Start awards were received by Morehead State University, Springfield Technical Community College, Tuskegee University, the University of the Virgin Islands, Western Kentucky University and Widener University.

Other important facets of the MSP program are research and capacity-building activities that intensely study and impact the partnerships. In this regards, NSF announces new awards to partnerships led by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University System of Georgia to conduct focused research on innovative components of their work that began in 2003 and show promise for national impact. Further enhancing the MSP research portfolio will be grants to researchers at Harvard University, Michigan State University and the University of Kentucky to develop methods and tools that will better enable investigators to understand the impacts on teaching and learning of MSP-type projects. The National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges will lead a project that aims to create a large and enduring national network of colleges and universities that significantly improved their programs for preparing high school teachers of mathematics and science, especially within the disciplines of physics and chemistry.

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