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CAMS Goes Global on Teacher Prep

A proposal by Cal State Dominguez Hills and the California Academy of Mathematics and Science is one of only 30 from 11 countries approved to participate in HP’s Catalyst Initiative, a global effort to improve science, technology, engineering and math education worldwide.

As a grant recipient, the university and CAMS (a magnet high school run by the Long Beach Unified School District on the university campus), are now members of a consortium that includes institutions from several countries working to improve teacher preparation.

Others in the consortium include Fraunhofer Institute in Stuttgart, Germany; Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya; Learning Games Network in Cambridge Mass.; the University of Exeter in Exeter, United Kingdom; and the University of Bristol Graduate School of Education in Bristol, United Kingdom.

With the $144,000 grant, CAMS and the School of Education at CSUDH are developing a Virtual Exchange Program to help students understand how classroom lessons apply to their own lives and the working world.

The effort includes training of aspiring and current teachers to become interdisciplinary leaders so that they can spark change in their schools and school districts.  The university-CAMS team of professors and teachers also is collaborating with schools in India to enrich teaching in both countries.  CAMS Principal Janice Filer and a university professor traveled to India this month under the HP grant, which was awarded earlier this school year.

“We’re excited about the impact this initiative and network of consortia will have in the long term,” Filer said.  “It’s fundamental that we get funding from companies like HP to be able to empower students to collaborate globally and deliver the kinds of projects that provide K-12/postsecondary alignment opportunities that will shape the way education and ultimately society evolves.”

Using high-tech equipment supplied by HP, the program helps educational professionals from various disciplines and countries to develop teaching methods that are multicultural and interdisciplinary, encouraging students to be creative and analytical.

A yearly series of six professional development sessions will take place over the two-year project, which will be captured on video and archived on the Internet, providing an online community and resource center for the university, CAMS and schools in India.  The grant provides staff with Elite Tablet PCs, mobile workstations, mini-notebooks for CAMS students, a server, a virtual room for webinars, and staff development funding.

As part of the initiative, HP is donating $6 million to 35 educational institutions, including the university and CAMS.  The program builds upon the Obama Administration’s “Educate to Innovate” coalition designed to improve student performance in science, technology, engineering and math.

Learn more at the CAMS website.