WMU News

Math and science center directors to convene

Feb. 14, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- The progress of and opportunities for Michigan's math and science centers will be among topics discussed when directors of those centers converge on Kalamazoo Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 20 and 21.

Western Michigan University Science and Mathematics Program Improvement and the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center will serve as co-hosts to a meeting of the Michigan Mathematics and Sciences Network, which is comprised of the directors of the state's 33 math and science centers.

Math and science centers provide professional development, student services, curriculum support, technical assistance, resources and expertise to public and private schools. Michigan is unique in that its mathematics and science centers have a statewide network that addresses common needs and issues.

The first day of the two-day Michigan Mathematics and Sciences Network meeting will be held at WMU's Bernhard Center. Among the highlights of the day's activities will be:

A presentation by David Larwa, a consultant to the Michigan Department of Education, who will give an update from the Department of Education and address the "Building a Presence for Science Program," which develops teacher leaders in the sciences in all Michigan schools;

An address highlighting the annual report on Michigan's math and science centers prepared by SAMPI; and

A panel discussion with WMU students who are former students at math and science centers. These students, who are now members of WMU's Lee Honors College, will talk about their experiences in the centers and the preparation they received for college.

"We care about these students and want to know how they are doing," says Dr. Mark Jenness, director of SAMPI. "Their input is important not only in assessing what we are doing and how it is working, but also as an active step in program improvement."

On Thursday, Feb. 21, network participants will convene a business meeting at the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center.

The Michigan Mathematics and Sciences Network meeting is being held in conjunction with a Michigan Mathematics Leadership Academy taking place earlier that week. More than 200 people are expected to attend the academy on Monday, Feb. 18, at Kalamazoo's Radisson Plaza Hotel to receive training in various aspects of mathematics education. The academy is offered to classroom teachers, educational administrators and math and science center directors and staff.

For more information about the academy or the Michigan Mathematics and Sciences Network meeting, contact the SAMPI office at (269) 387-3791.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 269 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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