The Arkansas Network of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Centers served to enrich the knowledge and teaching practices of teachers in STEM by linking institutions of higher education to K-12 public schools, educational service cooperatives, and businesses, and providing services and resources for teachers, administrators, and students in 2008. The Centers worked to keep the public informed and offer implementation assistance as it relates to trends in education.
The objectives of the STEM Centers are the following:
- Provide STEM professional development opportunities for classroom teachers, administrators, and other educators.
- Strengthen the STEM skills and preparation of pre-service teachers.
- Increase collaboration between the Schools of Arts and Sciences and the Schools of Education at institutions of higher education.
- Contribute to improving student achievement in mathematics and science.
- Assist schools in curriculum, instruction, and assessment improvements and reform.
- Foster partnerships with school districts in order to provide technical assistance.
- Promote collaboration and coordination of activities with the Educational Service Cooperatives.
- Support high quality mathematics and science education in the state.
- Coordinate with the Arkansas department of Education in school improvement efforts.
- Serve as resources for mathematics, science, and technology materials.
The STEM Centers “provide mathematics and science professional development, and serve as university outreach sites to surrounding school districts to bridge mathematics and science human, material, and fiscal resources K-20.” The math and science specialists also provide professional development and support for pre-service teachers. Resources such as curriculum, activity guides/books, and science lab equipment are free to check out for extended periods.