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Talent Initiative awards Trine $251K
Funding will start project-based learning center
ANGOLA, Ind. — Trine University received a $251,000 grant — the largest of any northeast Indiana college — from the Talent Initiative to create and staff a Center for Excellence in Project Based Learning in the Franks School of Education.
The Talent Initiative seeks to improve northeast Indiana’s success in project-based learning and science, technology, engineering and math. This month, the organization awarded over $2 million in professional development grants for educators across northeast Indiana.
Trine University leaders collaborated with local public school officials to apply for the grant in December 2010, with the goal of creating a center for students and current teachers to receive project-based learning training. According to the Buck Institute for Education, in project-based learning, students go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complete question, problem or challenge. The concept allows for students to collaborate, communicate and think critically, while simultaneously providing them voice and choice.
In 2009 and 2010, Trine was one of 30 colleges and universities nationwide selected to receive a highly competitive grant from the Bernard Harris Exxon Mobile Summer Science Camp foundation to provide a two-week, project-based summer camp for middle school students in the STEM disciplines. Trine received the Camp of the Year Award from the foundation, as well as national recognition for excellence.
It was a natural progression for Trine University to build upon the success of the science camp and to use the camp as a model for training area teachers in project-based learning methodologies, said Jean Deller, Ph.D., assistant vice president for program development and assessment at Trine. Using the new learning center and methodologies developed the science camp, Trine will collaborate with area school districts to train educators in the methods of project-based learning. This will prepare Trine graduates and area in-service teachers for improving current classroom practices.