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Jodie Mahony Center Receives $2.5 Million Grant for STEM Program


The Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education has received approximately $2.5 million to develop a new STEM program that identifies and nurtures second and third-grade students throughout Arkansas.

This University of Arkansas at Little Rock program, called the STEM+C2, will be funded by a U.S. Department of Education grant worth $2,449,587. This marks the third grant thatJodie Mahony Center researchers have received through theJacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program, which is designed to reduce the achievement gap for gifted-and-talented students in “traditionally underrepresented” areas.

“The STEM+Cteam assembled across three universities is a thrilling powerhouse of women devoted to developing academic and creative STEM talents in young children,” said Dr. Ann Robinson, director of the Jodie Mahony Center and principal investigator of the grant. “The current grant is the third in a series and builds on both STEM Starters and STEM Starters+. We published several research studies documenting the effectiveness of this intervention. In fact, one study, ‘A Talent for Tinkering,’ received two awards for research excellence. When we complete STEM+C2, we will have been funded for 15 years to develop, research, and disseminate an effective STEM intervention in elementary schools.”

Center researchers will be providing students with resources necessary to succeed in computer science, engineering and other STEM fields. In addition, the program is set to provide second and third grade teachers in the gifted and talented education with support and summer institutes.

“The STEM+C2 project will empower over 100 teachers to engage students in creative and innovative curriculum connected to STEM and computer science education,” Dr. Christine Deitz, associate director of the Jodie Mahony Center,said. “This exciting intervention is designed to develop learning talent in the primary grades and help teachers spot potential in young learners; especially children from low-income families and in populations who are traditionally underrepresented in gifted programs.”

According to a University of Arkansas at Little Rock release, the STEM+C2has impacted approximately 1,400 second- and third-grade students, 60 classroom teachers, 30 gifted education teachers, and 30 elementary school principals across two cohorts at 30 elementary schoolsthroughout Arkansas.

READ MORE: Interim Dean Named for UA Little Rock’s College of Education and Health Professions

Image courtesy of iStock

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