Education Professor Heads to Atlanta for White House STEM Initiative

Kristopher Childs developed a commitment to help make STEM education engaging for elementary school students.

Kristopher J. Childs

Kristopher J. Childs

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning is really more of a boots-on-the-ground experience.

For Kristopher J. Childs, an assistant professor of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the College of Education at Texas Tech University, that meant getting his boots to Atlanta.

Childs will be at M. Agnes Jones Elementary School, part of the Atlanta Public Schools (APS), next week with Advancing Active STEM Education for Our Youngest Learners, a White House initiative that is a partnership between the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM) and Texas Tech. As a board member of NCSM, he created this commitment at the behest of the NCSM president.

On Monday (Dec. 5) he will join NCSM President John Staley and APS K-5 mathematics coordinator Stephanie Reddick to work with 75 fifth-graders to complete a mathematics-based challenge. Groups of students will compete, and the winner will receive a prize.

"The goal of this event is to expose the students to STEM problem-based, high-cognitive demand tasks and provide students with a mathematics-based, problem-solving foundation through this highly interactive workshop," he said. "We want students to work with role models and see positive images in STEM fields, which we hope will inspire them to pursue careers in STEM."

This is his second event as part of the White House initiative to promote STEM education. In April, Childs attended a symposium in Washington, D.C., to discuss the collaborative effort of which he is a part and learn what other schools, universities, corporate and nonprofit groups are doing to increase STEM learning among American students. In February, the collaboration will move to Orlando, Florida for an event similar to what they will be doing in Atlanta.

Childs will be live-tweeting his experiences with students. Follow him on Twitter or reach out with questions at @drkchilds.

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College of Education

The College of Education at Texas Tech University offers a full range of programs, including 9 doctoral degrees, 10 master's degrees, two bachelor's degrees and numerous specializations which can lead to careers in public or private education as teachers, professors, administrators, counselors and diagnosticians.

Programs in the college are housed in three departments.

The Department of Curriculum & Instruction offers advanced degrees that prepare leaders, researchers, and professors with the knowledge, skills, and practical application experience needed to analyze, construct, and evaluate curricula in ways that create optimal learning conditions for all learners. Language and literacy, bilingual education and STEM education are just a few of the specializations offered by C&I.

The Department of Educational Psychology & Leadership consists of a diverse group of academic programs that equip students with a comprehensive knowledge of learning, motivation, development, and educational foundations. The disciplines of counseling and school psychology are housed within the EP&L department as are programs to prepare future college administrators, primary and secondary school and district leaders, as well as practical and academic educational psychologists.

The Department of Teacher Education focuses solely on teacher preparation, ensuring that teacher candidates are ready for the classroom on day one. The Teacher Education Department is home to TechTeach, an innovative teacher preparation program that puts teacher candidates into public school classrooms for a full year and requires that students pass teacher certification tests prior to entering the classroom. Various paths to teaching careers, including fast-track distance programs statewide and alternative certification options, are also housed in this department.

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