VI-EPSCoR's K-12 education activities are focused on strengthening the quality of science and math education in the Territory's public schools. VI-EPSCoR supported the development of a new Masters program in Mathematics for Secondary Educators at UVI. VI-EPSCoR has also partnered with the University's Division of Education and Division of Science and Mathematics, the Virgin Islands Department of Education, and other community stakeholders in a National Science Foundation Math-Science Partnership (MSP-Start) planning grant to strengthen K-12 STEM education in the territory.
Of particular focus for VI-EPSCoR is our effort to expand the STEM pipeline and engage more students at the K-12 level, who we hope will eventually attend college or university with an interest in STEM. Already underway are the "Celebrity Scientists" program ($16,000), Summer Science Research Institute (UVI) and the MESA program in St. Croix ($14,000), but we also have committed to leveraging $23,000 with the VI Department of Education’s investment into the Intel Science competition for the territory’s schools. We also will be sponsoring a research project evaluating water quality in ravines (guts) on St. Thomas by a middle school environmental club ($15,000). We will also sponsor a GRE preparation assistance program here in St. Thomas ($10,000) for UVI seniors interested in graduate school.
Education and Outreach Activities that engage K-12 students
Increasing USVI students’ interest in the areas of marine and environmental sciences is of great importance to the effective management of the Territory’s natural resources. Whether or not students pursue a career in one of these areas, sparking an interest through educational outreach programs, research opportunities, and graduate degrees will lead to a greater awareness of the potential contribution of each individual to the protection of the natural treasures that surround us.
To this end, VI-EPSCoR has embarked on a number of initiatives to stimulate the interest of K-12 students.