CSU, Chico News

Teachers Meet To Address Needs In Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Date: 09-08-2008

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico will be hosting approximately 120 teachers and administrators representing all grade levels from preschool through college at the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) North State Summit Friday, Sept. 12. Activities will take place in the BMU Auditorium.

The purpose of the event is to raise awareness of the serious need for U.S. schools to produce more scientists, engineers, mathematicians and technology experts. The conference will promote inquiry-based, hands-on science in K-12 classrooms and showcase best practices, including how CSU, Chico faculty and staff can help school districts with STEM education.

Noting a steady decline in the number of U.S. citizens training to become scientists and engineers, the National Science Board states, “[I]f action is not taken now to change these trends, we could reach 2020 and find that the ability of U.S. research and education institutions to regenerate has been damaged, and their preeminence has been lost to other areas of the world.” The national crisis in STEM fields has been the topic of several recent books, including Thomas Friedman’s “The World is Flat” and “Rising above the Gathering Storm,” published by the National Academies Press.

Margaret Owens, associate dean of the College of Natural Sciences and an organizer of the North State STEM Summit, said the event “will provide an opportunity for educators and other stakeholders to come together to discuss ways in which we can work together to address the STEM workforce issue.”

Among the speakers will be biologist Stuart Sumida, CSU, San Bernardino, who will discuss how the sciences of anatomy and biomechanics have informed animation and special effects. Sumida’s teaching focus is primarily on comparative vertebrate anatomy and human anatomy. He has been a consultant to special effect artists and animators on more than 40 feature-length films for groups such as Walt Disney Feature Animation, DreamWorks, Warner Brothers and Pixar.

For more information on the North State STEM Summit, contact Owens at 898-6121.