NYU Steinhardt Joins Nationwide Effort to Improve Quality of Math and Science Education

NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development joins 100Kin10 in the launch of “Blow Minds, Teach STEM,” a campaign to inspire undergraduates and recent graduates with strong science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills to become teachers.

The U.S. ranks 27th in math and 20th in science among industrialized countries. In his 2011 State of the Union Address, President Obama called for 100,000 new STEM teachers in an effort to improve the quality of math and science education.

100Kin10 – a network of 200 multi-sector organizations – responded by aiming to recruit 100,000 STEM teachers by the year 2021. The campaign, “Blow Minds, Teach STEM,” introduces STEM teaching as an impactful career option for STEM majors and recent graduates.

NYU Steinhardt was one of the early partners in 100Kin10, and together with NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering and the Jhumki Basu Foundation, committed to help retain and increase the supply of excellent STEM teachers.

The Clinically Rich Integrated Science Program (CRISP), a NYU Steinhardt master’s degree program funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top, serves as one pipeline for training teachers. The one-year teacher residency program prepares career changers and college graduates to become STEM teachers in public middle and high schools.

Using an innovative model, the aspiring teachers work with students beginning their first day in the program, and spend a school year immersed in a New York City classroom to co-teach STEM courses. Approximately 60 teachers have received their M.A. degrees through CRISP since its creation four years ago; NYU aims to train 300 new teachers through CRISP and its undergraduate math and science programs by 2021 as part of 100Kin10.

“Science, technology, engineering and mathematics are vital to our future, the future of our country and the future of our children. STEM pervades every aspect of our lives,” says Pamela Fraser-Abder, professor of teaching and learning and director of science education at NYU Steinhardt. “This campaign can show people that teaching STEM is exciting, innovative, and cutting-edge.”

The “Blow Minds, Teach STEM” campaign celebrates the power of teaching and amplifies the importance of STEM education to a broad audience. A significant social media presence drives attention and traffic to the web-based hub that includes resources for potential STEM teachers, STEM-focused stories and news, and entertaining elements such as a career quiz and shareable GIFs. An animated music video – which features a teacher-turned-rock star who captivates her class with “mind-blowing” examples of STEM – concludes with the statement, “STEM teachers will give us the next generation of inventors, problem-solvers, and Neil deGrasse Tysons.”

Singer-songwriter John Legend, actor Michael Ian Black, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, human-centered design firm IDEO, media firm GOOD, “Father of the Internet” Vint Cerf, Time’s first Person of the Planet Sylvia Earle, and the U.S. Department of Education have lent their voices to “Blow Minds, Teach STEM.” They are joined by multitudes of parents, educators, scientists, mathematicians, and entrepreneurs, along with a chorus of passionate citizens.

Note: Aspiring STEM teachers interested in learning more about NYU’s master’s programs in Science and Math Education are encouraged to attend an information session on education master’s programs at NYU Steinhardt. The information session will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 22 from 6-8 p.m. at 239 Greene Street (between West 4th St. and Washington Pl.).

Those seeking information on STEM education will visit the STEM lab to hear from Megan Collins of the New York State Education Department, Fraser-Abder, and current students. The students will talk about their paths to becoming STEM educators and what motivates them to be in their chosen field.