The Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has received $2,449,587 over a five-year period to develop and implement a STEM program that identifies and serves academically promising second and third grade students at Arkansas schools selected through a statewide application process. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the STEM+C2 program is designed to identify promising students through universal screening and provide services to gifted and talented second and third grade students, including students from underrepresented populations. STEM+C2 is the third multi-year research and demonstration program awarded to Dr. Ann Robinson to develop an evidence-based school intervention that encourages STEM talents in elementary schools. Rigorous field studies have documented the positive effects of the STEM+C2 program on students and teachers. These studies have been presented to audiences worldwide.
Working with researchers from Duke-TIP and the Penn State University, the Jodie Mahony Center will provide elementary students with the tools and resources they need to succeed in computer science, engineering, and mathematics with creativity and innovation. Through professional development, STEM+C2 will prepare second and third grade teachers in gifted, creative, and talented education with summer institutes and academic year support. The professional development will equip teachers with content related to STEM disciplines, strategies to identify promising students from underrepresented groups, and a STEM+C2 toolkit with engineering design challenges and computer science explorations. The program will also prepare teachers to implement “Blueprints for Biography: Computer Science Series” developed by researchers at the Mahony Center. The series features STEM innovators Grace Hopper, Ada Lovelace, and Raye Montague, the 2019 recipient of the Fribourgh award at UA Little Rock.
“The STEM+C2 team assembled across three universities is a thrilling powerhouse of women devoted to developing academic and creative STEM talents in young children,” Robinson said. Dr. Jill Adelson, Research Scientist at Duke-TIP, and Dr. Christine Cunningham of the Pennsylvania State University, an international expert in science and engineering education, join Dr. Christine Deitz and Ms. Kristy Kidd from the Mahony Center for an exciting collaboration. I can’t wait!”