The UTeach Institute, a teacher preparation organization at The University of Texas in Austin, launched a new STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) initiative with the help of Verizon, which gave more than $1 million in donated tablets and cash grants as part of the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools Higher Education program.
The initiative, which officially launched on Dec. 2 at Kealing Middle School in Austin, Texas, helps teachers extend the use of mobile technology in the classroom.
To show the program in action, students from Kealing Middle School, a STEM magnet, participated in interactive lessons that started with jumping jacks. After their quick effort, students were able to see how exercise affects their heart rates by holding their fingers on a tablet’s camera. An app downloaded on the tablet measured their heart rates and projected it wirelessly to a spreadsheet on the wall.
This lesson is one of the many examples of how the program aims to integrate mobile technologies into lesson plans prepared by college students enrolled in the UTeach initiative. The added technology will expand the resources and instructional tools available to teachers. It will also help engage students in understanding and applying math and science applications in everyday settings.
The program will develop lessons and materials to be added to the UTeach curriculum available at UTeach’s 35 partner universities nationwide, reaching more than 6,200 students.
With the added boost in technology resources, tomorrow’s teachers will be teaching STEM subjects in innovative ways and better preparing students for careers in science- and math-related fields.