"Dude! Science is the bomb diggity!"
Well, maybe we can't come up with a rockin' slogan that will sell the public on the state's new math and science standards, but somebody out there is going to give it a shot. A PR campaign is one part of a $21.9 million federal grant recently awarded to USF, FSU and UF to beef up math and science education.
"We're hoping to flood Florida," said Gladis Kersaint, an associate professor of mathematics education at USF who is the principal investigator of the grant award. If all goes as planned (translation: if enough money can be raised from the private sector), expect to see pamphlets, brochures, TV ads and billboards promoting the new standards, which, despite the continuing ruckus over evolution, are considered top-notch by many teachers and scientists.
Supporters of the Florida PROMiSE program (that's short for Partnership to Rejuvenate and Optimize Mathematics and Science Education) hope to get the message out by the end of this school year. "The standards do represent a big shift," Kersaint said. "In order to achieve our goals for Florida students, we really need the community to understand and support our efforts. It will be detrimental in the long term if there is opposition because of a lack of understanding."
Much of the grant money will be devoted to professional development for teachers. To read more about PROMiSE, click here. If you’ve got any ideas for the PR campaign - or better yet, money - call Kersaint at (813) 974-1644.
- Ron Matus, sate education reporter