The mission of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Research and Learning Center is two-fold. First, the Center will facilitate the increase of research capacity within the STEM disciplines, and between STEM and non-STEM fields. Second, the Center will consolidate SFA’s support for STEM education, particularly by coordinating STEM efforts in EC-12, undergraduate and graduate education, and teacher development at all levels.
Interdisciplinary research is a prime focus at SFA. The STEM Center will catalyze research communication and collaboration within the sciences as well as between the sciences and other disciplines. Particular attention will be given to facilitating research collaboration in partnership with industry, university faculty, staff and students, and stakeholders in the public school system.
Supporting comprehensive STEM education involves both publicizing the value of STEM training and removing barriers to student persistence in the STEM pipeline. In keeping with research findings regarding inhibitors to STEM engagement, the Center will focus on:
- Increasing STEM awareness and public perception,
- facilitating innovation in STEM university education,
- providing support for student mentoring during transitional periods in their education,
- guiding STEM teacher induction during the first three years in the classroom,
- empowering STEM teacher-leaders to transform their districts from within.
These endeavors will directly address the pressing demand for a technologically advanced workforce by increasing STEM knowledge, capacity and expertise. The video below expresses the need for problem solversrequired for innovation-- scientific and mathematical thinkers.