As the largest producer of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) degrees for minorities, FIU is particularly well-positioned to play a major role in addressing the challenges facing our nation by preparing a greater number of STEM professionals.
Our STEM Transformation Institute is developing and implementing the curriculum reforms, teacher preparation, and technologies that will best prepare students for STEM degrees and careers. The thrust of this research-driven success includes implementing, at scale, peer-led learning environments, and active-learning curriculum models.
One example is the Mastery Math Lab which incorporates peer-led learning and coaches for students taking Algebra, a major gateway course for STEM majors. These reforms have led to an increase in passage rates from 30 percent to over 70 percent.
We need lift to maintain a pipeline that will produce the next generation of discoverers, produce the tech-savvy workforce that the jobs of the 21st century increasingly require… I am enormously impressed by what is going on at Florida International University to advance the ball in these domains.John Holdren, Former Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
The commitment to STEM education comes at all levels, from our university leadership to a robust collaboration with Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Over $20 million in STEM education research funding has come from key partners like the National Science Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the U.S. Department of Education, among others.
Priorities/Recommendations for Congress
- Support policy decisions and legislation that make underrepresented minorities a major thrust of STEM efforts that reflect research-driven approaches and interventions
- Promote strong and direct collaborations with school systems, and expand research that focuses on outcomes.
- Seek a continuing role in federal policy discussions relating to STEM initiatives, especially in urban areas.
- Support the creation of a Presidential Higher Education Commission on STEM education, as recommended by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Laird Kramer, Ph.D.
Director, STEM Transformation Institute; Professor, Department of Physics at the College of Arts, Sciences & Education
Dr. Kramer’s work focuses on facilitating institutional change through the implementation of, and research on, evidence-based educational practices. Kramer led transformation of the undergraduate physics experience at FIU, creating more well-prepared majors through implementation modeling instruction-based studio physics courses, the establishment of student-centric methodologies, and the establishment of a high school/university research and learning community.
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