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UNF and DCPS receive VOYA Foundation grant for STEM educator training

April 6, 2021

The University of North Florida’s College of Arts & Sciences and College of Education & Human Services recently received a VOYA Foundation grant for their Quantum Physics Secondary Professional Development project, a collaboration with Duval County Public Schools (DCPS).

The project’s focus is to deliver high-quality professional development opportunities in quantum concepts for high-school teachers, with the ultimate goal to expand science pathways for DCPS students, thereby diversifying the STEM workforce in Northeast Florida and beyond. This project will serve up to 30 pre- and in-service teachers with a focus on Title 1 schools.

The project will feature timely, adaptive and flexible professional development experiences for teachers to learn quantum concepts, understand and appreciate quantum-related industry demands, and integrate these concepts into their classroom. This will better prepare students for higher education and the 21st-century STEM workplace.

Currently, a small percentage of students in Northeast Florida enroll in chemistry and physics. Teaching industry-relevant quantum concepts can help promote greater student interest in science. While it is challenging to integrate quantum concepts in high school curricula, this project will incorporate recent developments in quantum education applied to the high school context.

UNF faculty leading the project include Dr. W. Brian Lane, COAS physics instructor, and Dr. Terrie Galanti, COEHS STEM education assistant professor. The program will begin accepting applications in August 2021. For more information, email Terrie.Galanti@unf.edu.