Students in the UTeach program who are teaching STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – are integrating technology into their lesson plans, thanks to a donation of 35 Android tablets from the Verizon Foundation.
Alicia Negrón, a junior biological sciences student who is also enrolled in the UTeach program to earn a STEM teaching minor, is convinced that the technology will get her middle-school students excited about learning.
She says: “The tablets will provide much more of a visual aid prompting interaction with the students that will help them better remember and recall information.”
Negrón tested the tablet in a UTeach class using an application that simulates an ecosystem. “The ecosystem app is effective in teaching concepts that cannot be shown in a laboratory experiment or through PowerPoint pictures. Interactive visual aids get students engaged in learning.”
UMass Lowell was also awarded a $66,500 grant by the UTeach Institute in Austin to infuse mobile technology into the program.
Two Degrees, Two Career Choices Upon Graduation
UTeach UMass Lowell allows science and engineering undergraduates to earn a STEM teaching minor along with their bachelor’s degree, and obtain a Massachusetts Initial License to teach science, technology, engineering or mathematics in middle or high school.
“I’ve learned so much about what it takes to be an effective, respected teacher including basic lesson design and classroom management skills,” says Negrón. “I recommend UTeach to prospective students because I truly think it is a worthwhile investment.”
UTeach was first developed at the University of Texas Austin over 15 years ago. UTeach UMass Lowell was launched in 2012 under a $1.6 million Massachusetts Department of Education grant and is the only university in New England to offer it.