Project Kaleidoscope Gathering at Brenau Aims at Improving Science and Math Instruction

Brenau University on Friday, Nov. 19, will host more than 80 college and university professors and administrators in the Atlanta regional meeting for Project Kaleidoscope, the academic leadership organization created to improve undergraduate programs in the so-called STEM disciplines – undergraduate programs in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Although Friday’s program has a somewhat mind-numbing, esoteric title, “Facilitating Partnerships for STEM Pedagogy and Undergraduate Research,” Brenau Professor S. Randolph May, the Richard and Phyllis Leet Distinguished Chair of Biological Science, says that its purpose is straightforward and simple to understand.
“It is no secret that the United States lags well behind the rest of the world in recruiting students for higher education in these important disciplines,” said May, who is outgoing co-chair of the Atlanta-area Project Kaleidoscope program. “That means we as academics must make improving programs in mathematics and the various fields of science and engineering and recruiting more students into those programs a national priority.”

Dr. Randy May
Dr. S. Randolph May
Joining May on the program will be the other Project Kaleidoscope co-chair, Deborah Sauder, associate dean and professor of chemistry at Georgia Gwinnett College; Pat Marsteller, director of the Center for Science Education and professor of practice in the Department of Biology at Emory University; Leanne West, senior research scientist in the Georgia Tech Research Institute; physics Professor and Eminent Scholar J.B. Sharma, Gainesville State College; Andrew Bressette, associate provost and dean of academic services at Berry College; chemistry Professor Lilia C. Harvey of Agnes Scott College; Sarah Formica, a physics professor at North Georgia College & State University; and Louise Bauck, a professor of Biology in the Department of Math and Science at Brenau.

Students from Brenau and North Georgia College & State University also will participate in presentations.

Jennifer Lewis, a chemistry professor from the University of South Florida and an expert in measuring the effectiveness of science and math education programs, will be the keynote speaker at the conference.

According to Project Kaleidoscope’s mission, America must meet the challenge of preparing well-equipped citizens, K-12 teachers, academic and research scientists, and members of the high-tech workforce to maintain our competitiveness in a world in which science and technology have growing influence. The undergraduate community is the vital link in the process.

For more information about Project Kaleidoscope, consult the Web site, http://www.pkal.org/collections/About.cfm.

Originally published on 11/19/10

 

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