Manhattan College Receives Second National Science Foundation Grant

College obtains funding to support and promote engineering education for middle and high school teachers.

For the second time this summer, Manhattan College has received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to conduct research. The NSF awarded the College's Schools of Education and Health and Engineering $297,516 to investigate and explore the creation of a variety of programs that support and promote engineering education for middle and high school teachers.

“This project is a preliminary step toward merging two main passions of mine: engineering and education,” said Zahra Shahbazi, Ph.D., assistant professor of mechanical engineering and co-leader on the project. “I believe high school students deserve a more in-depth teaching on engineering, and our contribution is through training better engineering educators.”

As a result of the NSF grant project, the College will establish the Manhattan College Engineering Scholars Training and Retention (STAR) Center during the next two years with the help of co-leader Sister Mary Ann Jacobs, Ed.D., assistant professor of education. Because of the lack of engineering training in teacher certification programs for individuals interested in becoming a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teacher, the project will facilitate a minor in engineering education for students studying engineering, certificate in engineering education for math and science education majors, and post-baccalaureate certificate in engineering education for engineering graduate students.

“This grant is an opportunity for Manhattan College to realize our mission as we touch minds and hearts of students, especially those most in need,” Jacobs added.

In addition, the new center will provide professional development opportunities for current STEM educators. A group of Manhattan engineering students will also present workshops at local middle and high schools serving underrepresented groups with the intent of enticing these students to consider future studies in STEM-related fields.

Once the Engineering STAR center is further developed, the Manhattan team plans to apply for the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship grant, which provides funding for higher education institutions to prepare K-12 STEM teachers.

To read more about Manhattan College Center for Preparing and Retaining STEM Scholars Teaching Engineering Principles, visit nsf.gov.