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STE2M center opens at USU

Campus program hopes to facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration

staff writer

Published: Thursday, February 20, 2014

Updated: Thursday, February 20, 2014 00:02

STE2M center

Mikayla Kapp photo

The USU STE2M center collaborates learning in the fields of science, technology and engineering. It is located on the west side of Edith Bowen Laboratory School.

USU recently welcomed a STE2M center to campus. The center, run by David Feldon, is a place where students can go and collaborate with others in the fields of science, technology, education, engineering and mathematics.

Feldon said STEM education focuses primarily on work in these fields.

“The STE2M Center is a new center whose purpose is to build a larger and more densely interconnected network of stakeholders engaged in STEM education and STEM workforce development in Utah,” Feldon said. “The National Science Foundation invented the acronym as a single term for all the endeavors they support.”

The center is located in the west part of Edith Bowen Laboratory School.

Feldon said the center is a place for students and faculty to network on research projects, learn about internships, influence policy and prepare for the workforce.

“We are currently engaging with the university and the state to change the ways we recruit and train science teachers at USU to better meet the educational needs of Utah,” Feldon said.

According to the STE2M center website, the center is separate from USU, but Feldon will still report to the provost.

“David Feldon, the director of the STE2M center, will be keeping my office and the USU deans aware of the conversations that are going on,” said Noelle Cockett, USU provost. “That way, the university can provide support for faculty and students involved in STEM.”

Feldon said the goals of the center are “to become the first place people come when they are looking to connect with others with common interests related to research, outreach or analysis of data related to STEM education or workforce development.”

Cockett said an advantage to having the center on USU’s campus is that it will help recognize the university’s efforts to incorporate STEM education.

“The federal government and businesses anticipate the emerging economy requires a more and better-trained workforce in order to be internationally competitive,” Feldon said.

According to the STE2M Center website, the center strives for high student involvement and participation.

Beth MacDonald, an assistant professor in mathematics education got involved with STEM education in January.

“To integrate early on in students’ academic careers better supports their understanding of these different opportunities,” MacDonald said.

The USU STE2M center will help host the Bridgerland Science and Engineering Fair for Cache and Rich counties Feb. 22 at the Eccles Conference Center.

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