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‘Mix It Up’ fosters understanding between math, science educators

By Alec Jennings
University News Service
October 7, 2008

Mix It Up

With grant funding in place, the Texas State University-San Marcos Math, Science, Technology: Teacher Preparation Academy is working to build an interdisciplinary understanding between math and science educators.   F

The $398,000 grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board will provide scholarships to undergraduate and graduate level students seeking certification to teach middle school math and science. The grant will cover tuition and fees for, what the program calls "Mix it Up" courses due to their emphasis in their relationships between mathematics and the sciences. The current course offerings are in geometry on the undergraduate level and with algebra, geometry and calculus on the graduate level.

Salina Vasquez-Mireles, assistant professor of mathematics, said bringing both disciplines together for teacher training is important in building productive communication between teachers of math and science at the middle school level.

"It's addressing both things simultaneously," Vasquez-Mireles said. "Middle school students might come out of one class hearing one thing, and go into another class hearing something differently. This teaches better communication between both."

Offering scholarships for tuition and fees for the first time in the fall 2008 semester, Mireles said there are still additional resources available to fund the program through August 2009. They encourage anyone interested to apply.

"We still have openings," she said. "We could have actually funded a few more this semester."

The program accepts students participating in or who have completed Mix It Up courses, and provides tuition for Mix It Up classes, stipends, books and materials, technology training and partial scholarships to attend conferences. No application fees or registration fees are required.

For more information, those interested can contact Eboni Walker at (512) 245-8015 or Salina Vasquez-Mireles at (512) 245-8019. Further information regarding the program and an application are also available at www.science.txstate.edu/mathematics/mixitup/.