Mar 12, 2007    #030
Contact: Nick Barron

Superintendent to kickoff new partnership with University

Kansas City Missouri School District (KCMSD) Superintendent Anthony Amato will kickoff a new partnership with the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s (UMKC) College of Arts & Science and School of Education.

The kickoff takes place at 3 p.m. March 8 at the Southwest High School Planetarium at 6512 Wornall Road. Amato is expected to speak briefly at the event, which will include an information session about GEOPATHS, as well as a tour of the Planetarium.

"This kind of program enhances the goals that we have set forth to increase academic standards in science and mathematics," said Amato. "We are looking forward to this partnership with UMKC and its faculty."

GEOPATHS (Geoscience Education Opportunities: Partnerships to Advance Teaching and Scholarship) is a four-year program funded by the National Science Foundation and will accomplish four main goals:

- Increase KCMSD middle and high school teachers’ knowledge content of geosciences.

- Lead to greater student success on statewide science exams.

- Enhance student awareness of careers in the geo and environmental sciences.

- Boost the number of underrepresented minorities entering geosciences fields at the undergraduate college level.

Efforts in the program’s first two years will focus on increasing the number of KCMSD high school teachers certified to teach Advanced Placement (AP) environmental science courses, as well as adding to the number of schools participating in UMKC’s High School/College Program. The final two years of GEOPATHS will be aimed at direct recruitment of minority high school students to the geo and environmental science fields through paid summer research internships and scholarship offers.

“If our science teachers become engaged in earth and environmental science through hands-on GEOPATHS workshops and by working on geoscience experiments with faculty, then we are confident that this experience will help to stimulate their students' interest and content knowledge,” Tina Niemi, Ph.D., co-principal investigator of the program and UMKC Associate Professor.

UMKC will receive $500,000 over four years to fund the program. UMKC’s College of Arts and Sciences is offering 75 percent tuition reduction to KCMSD teachers who participate in GEOPATHS. UMKC professors participating in GEOPATHS include Jimmy Adegoke, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Geosciences and project Principal Investigator; Niemi (Geosciences) co-principal investigator; Louis Odom, Ph.D. (School of Education) co-principal investigator; and Elizabeth Stoddard, Ph.D. (Physics) co-principal investigator. David Ketchum, science coordinator for the KCMSD, is also a co-principal investigator in the program. The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban affairs.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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