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BHSU earns several grants to partner with school districts to improve math and science education

Black Hills State University is a partner in five of seven grants that are focused on working with K-12 schools to improve science and mathematics instruction in middle and high schools.

The Title II grants from the U.S. Department of Education pair university science, math, and education faculty with teachers and administrators from high-need school districts to develop relevant professional development activities. More than 175 teachers from across South Dakota will participate. The state earned nearly $350,000 in grant funding for the projects involving public universities and K-12 schools.

The partnerships, each funded at about $50,000, include:

  • BHSU, along with South Dakota State University, is working with the Oelrichs School District, for a “Best Practices in Teaching Mathematics and the New Common Core Standards” project. Dr. June Apaza, director for the Center for Advancement of Math and Science Education (CAMSE), is the project director for the grant. Others working on the project are Vicki Kapust, associate director of math outreach for the BHSU Center for CAMSE, and Christine Larson from SDSU.
  • BHSU, along with Dakota State University and Cheyenne-Eagle Butte Schools, earned a grant for a “Best Practices in Teaching Mathematics and the New Common Core Standards” project. Vicki Kapust is project director for the grant. Dr. June Apaza and Jeff Palmer from DSU will also be working on this project.
  • BHSU and Summit School District are partnering for a “Best Practices in Teaching Mathematics and the New Common Core Standards” project. Dr. Parthasarathi Nag, associate professor of math at BHSU is the project director of the grant. Others working on the project are Dr. June Apaza and Vicki Kapust.
  • BHSU will partner with the Wall and Andes Central school districts for an “Earth and Space Science Concepts for Teachers” project. Dr. Janet Briggs, science education specialist for CAMSE, is the program director for the grant. Dr. Abigail Domagall, assistant professor of science at BHSU, will also be working on the project.
  • BHSU is working with the Newell School District for a “Modeling Physics Instruction in South Dakota” project. Dr. Andy Johnson, associate director of CAMSE is the project director for the grant. Dr. Kathleen Matthew, associate professor of education at BHSU, is also working on this project.

Other Title II projects funded include: 

  • SDSU and McIntosh School District “Cosmic Math 2011” project
  • The USD and Avon School District “South Dakota Science and Mathematics Teacher Enhancement: Integrating Math and Science and Using Topical Issues in Science Instruction” project

“These grants involve teachers in specialized summer workshops and follow-up activities to help them implement lesson plans in math and science throughout the school year,” said Dr. Gary Johnson, system vice president of research for the South Dakota Board of Regents, which administers the grant funds under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

The projects involve higher education faculty, local school districts, and other education agencies and partners to achieve statewide impact. Funding runs from April 2011 through September 2012.

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