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With a $1.1 million National Science Foundation Grant, an Old Dominion University engineering professor will enhance existing resources for math and science teachers and place graduate engineering students in Norfolk and Portsmouth public schools.

Keith Williamson, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, won the grant for his proposal, "The Virginia Center for Urban Education at ODU: Engineering Fellows and Master Teachers for Grades 4-5."

Under it, the College of Engineering and Technology, in collaboration with Norfolk and Portsmouth public schools and the Virginia Space Grant Consortium, will provide opportunities for graduate students from the College of Engineering and Technology to work with the most accomplished teachers in the cities by placing them in fourth and fifth grade classrooms to support specially designated "Master Teachers."

This initiative aims to expand the frontiers of knowledge about teaching and learning in urban districts to both pre-service and in-service teachers. The partnership fosters joint inquiry into research problems by reviewing and revising curricula, drawing on shared expertise, co-teaching, and sharing insights with colleagues in the educational community.

"The College of Engineering and Technology is particularly pleased to be able to take a leading role in having our graduate students participate in the education of Virginia's fourth and fifth graders and, in particular, to be able to contribute to their early preparation and predisposition to science, engineering, and mathematics," said Dean William Swart.

Other Old Dominion faculty and administrators involved in the project are John Adam (Mathematics), Denny Wolfe (Education), Marty Sharpe (University Planning and Institutional Research), Hassan Ndahi (Education), Janis Sanchez-Hucles (Psychology), and Ingrid Whitaker (Sociology).

This article was posted on: May 17, 2002

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