YOLO COUNTY NEWS

Briefly

Event supports teachers of math and science

By April 7, 2011

Local K-12 educators, parents and students are encouraged to attend UC Davis’ C-STEM Day, which hopes to foster teacher skills in computing, science, technology, engineering and math education.

C-STEM Day will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at Bainer and Kemper halls on campus.

Hosted by the UCD K-14 Outreach Center for Computing and STEM Education and College of Engineering, the event will provide an overview of the challenges of teaching STEM subjects (science, technology, education, math) to K-12 students, offer insight into successful approaches to STEM instruction, and provide an opportunity for local K-12 educators to share their needs for instructional support and successful experiences.

C-STEM Day includes the UCD Secondary School Programming Competition; a symposium on “Computing and STEM Education in the 21st Century”; C-STEM educator and student awards; and C-STEM related demonstrations and lab tours. Detailed information about the competition and C-STEM awards selection is available at http://cstem.ucdavis.edu.

Registration for the Symposium and C-STEM Day program is free; and participants may register through the C-STEM Center website at http://cstem.ucdavis.edu/CSTEMDay/symposium. Registration the day of the event will open at 8:30 a.m.

The C-STEM Center seeks to develop students’ computer-aided problem-solving skills to tackle real-world STEM problems, and to broaden participation of students historically underrepresented in technology oriented disciplines.

“We use computers, robots and technology to engage students in mathematics,” said Dr. Harry Cheng, director of the C-STEM Center and a professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering at UCD. “Many students don’t naturally gravitate toward mathematics. However, they are often extensively engaged in math-derived technology, including video games, smart phones, computers and robotics. Our goal is to use the computing technology to engage students, especially at-risk students, in mathematics and science coursework to close the achievement gap.”

The C-STEM Center’s activities include research into computing technology and K-12 student outcomes; curriculum development for K-12 computing education; K-12 student mentoring and teacher assistance by UCD engineering students; and organization of the UCD C-STEM Day to build public awareness and advocacy for C-STEM education.

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