Agents of Change

What happens when the third largest urban school district in the country teams up with the number one ranked college of education in the country? A lot apparently.

The goals of the partnership are ambitious.  It is no less than creating powerful agents of change who can transform K12 education as we know it. The MSU-WIPRO Urban Stem fellowship is providing an opportunity for students within the Chicago Public School system to embrace Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as the core of their everyday learning. Leading the change are twenty five educators from Chicago Public Schools. They were selected through a careful competitive process to participate in the 2014 cohort. Led by instructors from MSU the fellows have been meeting and working – both face to face and online for the past six months. They collaborate, design, and engage in innovative practices for classroom implementation. Failure is embraced and encouraged with within classroom settings as they focus on the disciplines of STEM. They create. They explore. They share!

The importance of this work can be gauged by the fact that this project was one of the few that was selected by MSU as a part of its Capital Campaign. Embedded below is a video that was made about this project.

Featured in this video, is Dr. Michelle Moody-Frazier, Elementary Magnet Coordinator for Chicago Public Schools. She is excited about bringing STEM into the Chicago Public School district. In the video, she exclaims that STEM prepares Chicago Public School students to be “competitive in a global society.” She also hopes that the twenty five participating fellows will spread their love and energy for STEM to their colleagues and even surrounding districts. These agents of change can make a difference.

Also featured in the video below is Ashley Keine. Ashley is a second grade teacher at Shoesmith School in the Hyde Park neighborhood and is one of the participating fellows. In the video she shares, “I can see, already, the ideas that are turning in my head of ways I can implement just little daily things into the classroom to make those connections meaningful to my kids.” Ashley recently brought STEM alive in her classroom through a weather unit as her little meteorologists created their very own new casts. This is just one example of how these fellows are providing STEM opportunities for their students.

This awe-inspiring undertaking would not be possible without the financial support of WIPRO, who funded the 2.8 million dollar grant. Punya Mishra declares, “as federal dollars get tight, we have to look at organizations such as WIPRO and others, who have a strong social commitment to the communities they serve.”

The program hopes to develop a strong love for STEM based instruction and learning. A contagious one. Read more here.