Fort Hays State University’s Dr. Janet Stramel will be featured in a nationwide teacher education Webinar hosted by the U.S. Department of Education.


The Webinar will be streamed live from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, to discuss teacher preparation for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It will feature education professionals and cutting-edge faculty from around the country who are working to elevate high-quality STEM teacher preparation.


Stramel – professor of teacher education at FHSU – will present a project titled "Principles of Effective STEM Teaching for All Elementary Students." The paper was developed from the 100Kin10 Project, for which Stramel chaired one of the teams.


The five-member team came from a variety of educational backgrounds and from five different states. They met for a one-day workshop in New York City, then completed their work via Zoom.


The project developed by Stramel and her team provides a set of six principles as well as guiding questions that elementary school teachers can use to promote the critical thinking and reasoning skills through problem solving in STEM education for their students.


100Kin10 is a national initiative that unites the nation’s top academic institutions, nonprofits, foundations, companies, and government agencies to address the nation’s STEM teacher shortage.


FHSU is one of nearly 300 100Kin10 partners nationwide but one of only a handful of Kansas universities involved with the initiative.


"In the Department of Teacher Education," Stramel said, "we train amazing elementary teachers who make a huge impact on the students they teach. But I want to expand that training to focus more and include more STEM integration in the coursework."


The training of elementary teachers traditionally focuses on reading and literacy skills. However, Stramel said, STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases problem solving skills, and enables the next generation of innovators and inventors. This depends on a solid knowledge base in the STEM areas.


"Our students must be exposed to STEM education when they are in elementary school – or before," Stramel said. "This is when their curiosities, passion and yearn for learning, and imagination are boundless, unfiltered and natural."


Stramel, in her 12th year of teaching at FHSU, was named the Edna Shutts Williams Endowed Chair in the College of Education in the Department of Teacher Education last spring. As the Shutts Williams Endowed Chair, Stramel’s work revolves around training elementary teachers with a focus on STEM education.


The Webinar can be seen at https://bit.ly/33pBFul