Tag Archives: NSF Grant

With Engineering Clinic, TSU Students May Soon Design and Build Computer Games, Small Machines

Engineering-11
A new “engineering clinic” will allow students to design and build products related to their discipline. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Engineering and computer science students at Tennessee State University may soon be able to design and build products such     as hand-held computer   games, mobile robots, computer apps and small machines, thanks to a new funding from the National Science Foundation.

A $1.7 million, four-year grant intended to revamp the curriculum and increase the graduation rate of African-American males in engineering, will also include the creation of an “engineering clinic,” which will allow students to design and build products related to their discipline.

Hargrove
Dr. S. Keith Hargrove

“We are developing an innovative way of learning that would enhance students’ persistence and better prepare them for the rigors of the engineering coursework,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering and principal investigator of the NSF funding.

According to Hargrove there is a demand to produce a more diverse workforce by developing curriculums that reflect theoretical and practical knowledge and allow graduates to immediately make a contribution to industry. But incoming freshmen are less prepared for the rigors of the engineering curriculum in such areas as math. Only 5.5 percent of black eighth-graders completed calculus five years later, and a mere 1.1 percent of the nation’s black college freshmen enrolled in engineering programs in 2010, an analysis by the National Association of Black Engineers shows.

With the new funding, Tennessee State University, the largest producer of African American engineers in the state, is responding to this workforce demand, Hargrove said.

Dr. Sachin Shetty
Dr. Sachin Shetty

“We have developed a pre-engineering sequence of courses for freshmen that students must take before embarking on the traditional four-year curriculum,” he said. “These courses are infused with hands-on design projects to motivate and inform students about the discipline, and promote team dynamics and engineering fundamentals.”

Freshman Mechanical Engineering major Isaiah Pirtle, a beneficiary of the pre-engineering program, has seen great progress in his performance.

“I was fortunate to participate in the ‘Engineering Concepts Institute,’ a summer pre-college program,” Pirtle said. “That experience gave me an excellent academic background for the mathematics required in my major.”

According to Hargrove, with that preparation, Pirtle and his fellow classmates’ program for the next five years will focus on more design-related projects with the development of the engineering clinic.

Dr. Sachin Shetty, associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Co-PI of the NFS fund, will manage the project and the development of the clinic. The project will also support a retention study on the attrition of African-American students, with particular emphasis on black males. Faculty from the Department of Sociology Department and College of Education will coordinate the study.

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU, Vanderbilt Receive Nearly $1 Million to Increase Minority STEM Ph.D.’s

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) —Increasing the number of minority students who earn a Ph.D. in science, technology, engineering and math is the aim of a new “bridge to doctorate” program being launched by a coalition of Tennessee universities and led by Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Lonnie Sharpe
Dr. Lonnie Sharpe

The National Science Foundation recently awarded $987,000 to TSU to launch the new program as an expansion of the Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, or TLSAMP. TLSAMP is a NSF-funded collaborative effort by 10 Tennessee colleges and universities to significantly increase and improve the retention of underrepresented minority students in STEM fields statewide.

“We are delighted that Vanderbilt University is the inaugural host for the Tennessee Bridge-to-the–Doctorate program,” said Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, Massie Chair of Excellence at Tennessee State University and TSLAMP executive director. “One of our goals is to increase the number of students attending graduate school. This award allows more of our students to transition into such programs. I am excited about this great opportunity for our students to continue their quest for doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

Tennessee State University leads TLSAMP and includes Fisk University, LeMoyne-Owen College, Middle Tennessee State University, Nashville State Community College, Southwest Tennessee Community College, Tennessee Technological University, University of Memphis, University of Tennessee – Knoxville and Vanderbilt. Each institution provides services that assist underrepresented minorities with the transition from high school to college, integrate them socially and academically into the university environment, and engage them in research and summer internship opportunities, and now include assisting to earn a Ph.D.

“We are thrilled to be working with TSU and our other Tennessee partners on this project. We all benefit by increasing the number of underrepresented minority students earning their Ph.D.s in these fields,” said Art Overholser, senior associate dean of the Vanderbilt School of Engineering and co-director of the new program. “The perspectives and talents of the students we hope to attract will not only enrich our research and teaching of STEM disciplines, but will serve as an example and inspiration for students to come.”

This is the second award in as many years for the TLSAMP from the National Science Foundation. In October 2013, TSU received a $2.5 million grant to increase the number of baccalaureate degrees awarded to students majoring in STEM disciplines while meeting the future needs of government, industry and education.

The five-year grant, said Sharpe, pays $493,207 per year and will impact nearly 3,800 underrepresented students throughout Tennessee at both ends of the collegiate pipeline, from community college to graduate school, and now the PH.D. level.

“These grants provides tremendous opportunities for us to increase the number of minority undergraduates and now Ph.Ds in the STEM field,” added Sharpe. “This will ultimately increase the number of students pursuing careers in the STEM workforce that drives the security and economy of our nation.”

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 45 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Receives $1.2 Million NSF Grant to Inspire Students to Teach Math, Science in Schools

NSF_logoNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Math and Science teachers are desperately needed in schools in Nashville and across the state to help prepare the country’s youth for a labor market dominated by jobs in science and technology.

Tennessee State University will now be doing its part to inspire students to teach in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, when it was recently announced that the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences was awarded $1.2 million to support and prepare STEM majors to become K-12 teachers.

Dr. Elaine Martin, associate professor of Biology, College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences. Martin and her team of professors and instructors won a $1.2 million National Science Foundation grant to encourage students to teach science and math to elementary, middle and high school students in high-need districts. (courtesy photo)
Dr. Elaine Martin, associate professor of Biology, College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences. Martin and her team of professors and instructors won a $1.2 million National Science Foundation grant to encourage students to teach science and math to elementary, middle and high school students in high-need districts. (courtesy photo)

Funded through the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, the grant will support “Project Tiger Teach,” a new program designed to help train students majoring in biology, chemistry or mathematics receive their teacher certification, who will in turn, land jobs teaching in high-need school districts.

The program, according to Dr. Elaine Martin, associate professor of Biology and director of the project, will be a collaborative partnership between the University and the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools System. The goals of the partnership are to increase the number of highly-qualified certified, high school STEM teachers in high-need schools in the Nashville area, increase teacher diversity with emphasis on recruiting African-American male STEM teachers, and provide four years of mentoring and professional development opportunities to graduates.

“This is a great opportunity for TSU to recruit and support students with strong science and math backgrounds into higher education,” added Martin. “Over the next four years, the Noyce grant will allow us to recruit individuals into the program with strong STEM backgrounds who might otherwise not have considered a career in K-12 teaching.”

Another outcome of the project will be to place teachers from underrepresented groups such as African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans into the same type classroom category and increase the student-to-teacher ratio of both groups.

“A recent survey of students enrolled in biology and mathematics courses at TSU revealed that 30 percent are interested in considering teaching math or science in K-12 schools,” said Martin, “while 40 percent would consider obtaining teacher licensure in math or science if they could obtain it within their four-year college program.

“Additionally, an overwhelming 66 percent of participants surveyed would consider obtaining a teaching license and teach at least five years in K-12 schools if full tuition and a summer internship were provided. Through this program, we anticipate an increase in high school and post-secondary graduation rates that will address Tennessee’s and the nation’s shortage of STEM professionals.”

When the program kicks off, scholarship money will support a total of 40 undergraduate students over the next four years to go through Project Tiger Teach. Each year, three students majoring in biology, two in chemistry and five in mathematics will be assisted by the program.

Students wishing to apply for the program must have completed 60 credit hours with a minimum GPA of 3.0.  The Noyce grant provides scholarships in the amount of $12,000 per year for a period of two years for the future classroom leaders to complete their degrees with teacher certification.  They must agree to teach two years for each year of scholarship support in a “high needs” school district in Tennessee and the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools.

Participants will also take part in summer institutes that include tutoring high school students in the Regents Math Academy and Tennessee State University’s Math and Science Center. By the end of their sophomore year, Noyce Scholars are admitted to the teacher certification program in biology, chemistry or mathematics.

Before their senior year, students must then complete four educational courses and all required content courses in preparation for the MNPS high school-based Residency I and Residency II.

“The extended residency will produce highly-qualified teachers who have mastered content knowledge, and understand the learning process and application of assessment results to improve instruction,” added Martin.

Along with Martin, the grant was awarded to co-directors Dr. Jeanetta Jackson, Department of Mathematics; Dr. Heraldo Richards, College of Education; and Dr. Artenzia Young-Seigler, Department of Biological Sciences.

“This project will be a boost to the College’s STEM education and teacher preparation efforts, particularly for minority populations,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, Dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences. “This is a prestigious grant our faculty received that will give us the opportunity to work together with Metro School system in preparing and in serving their STEM teacher needs. It is a win-win project for TSU and the community.”

The Noyce scholarship is named for Robert Noyce, co-founder of Intel Corp and the scientist awarded the 1961 patent for the integrated semiconductor. The scholarship was funded through the NSF Authorization Act of 2002 in response to a critical need for teachers in science and math.

 

 

Department of Media Relations  

 

Tennessee State University
3500 John A. Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331


About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university and is a comprehensive, urban, coeducational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top Universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912 Tennessee State University celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu