left to right – Drs. Nanette Dietrich, Jennifer Shettel, Janet White and Sharon Brusic

Congratulations to Millersville University’s (MU) Integrative STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education Methods (ISEM) program team who received the 2019 Gerhard Salinger Award. The award was bestowed at a conference on March 28 in Kansas City, Missouri for enhancing STEM education through technological and engineering design-based instruction.

The team of faculty developed, implemented and researched a new Integrative Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (iSTEM) program for undergraduate students studying to be Early Childhood Education (ERCH) teachers. In 2015, after three years of planning and collaboration with faculty in other departments, the Applied Engineering, Safety & Technology (AEST) launched a new minor in ISEM.

Drs. Scott Warner and Sharon Brusic receiving award.

The purpose of this minor is to provide knowledge and skills for future ERCH teachers to authentically integrate STEM into their Pre-K to grade four curricula and to build their confidence and competence in iSTEM. The ISEM minor is very popular. There are currently more than 100 early childhood education majors pursuing this minor at MU. These students partake in six courses that are offered by the Early, Middle & Exceptional Education (EMEE) and AEST departments to help prepare MU students for their future classrooms.

In addition, four of the team members wrote and received a grant from the National Science Foundation in 2016 to support research into the ISEM minor. The Integrative STEM for Teachers of Young Students (iSTEM4ToYS) project investigators are exploring how to prepare pre-kindergarten to grade 4 teachers for iSTEM teaching and learning.

The Integrative STEM Education Methods Program Team and winners of this award includes professors Sharon Brusic, Nanette Dietrich, Jennifer Shettel, Scott Warner, Janet White and assistant professors Charlton Wolfgang and Jason Petula. These faculty represent AEST, EMEE, Educational Foundations (EDFN), and Mathematics (MATH) departments.

“It has been rewarding to work with so many great colleagues in several MU departments to advance integrative STEM education for future teachers. It is an honor to receive this award as it provides further acknowledgement of our innovative approach to teacher preparation and our commitment to ensuring that our ISEM graduates are well-prepared to deliver design-based Integrative STEM curriculum,” says Brusic.

This award was presented by the Council on Technology and Engineering Teacher Education (CTETE), an affiliate of the International Technology & Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA). The award is further recognition of the great collaborative work that MU faculty is doing to advance the ISEM program and mission at MU. Brusic and Warner accepted this award on behalf of the team at the ITEEA conference.

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