Thursday, April 23, 2009

Petrosino assists National Science Foundation and ITEST Program

The Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST)* program (program solicitation) was established by the National Science Foundation in direct response to current concerns and projections about the growing demand for professionalsand information technology workers in the U.S. and seeks solutions to help ensure the breadth and depth of the STEM workforce. ITEST supports research studies to address questions about how to find solutions. It also supports the development, implementation, testing, and scale-up of implementation models. A large variety of possible approaches to improving the STEM workforce and to building students’ capacity to participate in it may be implemented and studied. ITEST projects may include students or teachers, kindergarten through high school age, and any area of the STEM workforce. Projects that explore cyberlearning, specifically learning with cyberinfrastructure tools such as networked computing and communications technologies in K-12 settings, are of special interest.

This program is interested in addressing such questions as: What does it take to effectively interest and prepare students to participate in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce of the future? What are the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that students need in order to participate productively in the changing STEM workforce and be innovators, particularly in STEM-related networked computing and information and communication technology (ICT) areas? How do they acquire them? How can the Nation’s burgeoning cyberinfrastructure be harnessed as a tool for STEM learning in classrooms and informal learning environments? What will ensure that the nation has the capacity it needs to participate in transformative, innovative STEM advances? How can we assess and predict inclination to participate in the STEM fields and how can we measureand study impact of various models to encourage that participation?

Dr. Petrosino was asked recently to be a part of ITEST---his efforts with the National Science Foundation and the goals of ITEST will benefit curricula efforts in the district in the area of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education.