The nation’s capacity to thrive in the global economy — and at home — depends on a strong foundation in math and science. Research demonstrates that the nation’s prosperity, America’s standing in the world, and our ability to grow our economy all rise or fall based on the quality of education American students receive.

In the 2011 State of the Union Address, U.S. President Barack Obama put out a call to action: prepare 100,000 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers over the next 10 years.

The effort, called 100Kin10, includes a wide array of players — from federal agencies to states, museums to corporations, universities to school districts, individuals to associations — to identify their assets and apply them creatively and strategically in solving one of our country’s most vexing challenges: how to give every child a first-rate STEM education so that we can regain our competitive edge and address the national and global challenges that will define this century.

Bruce Johnson, who heads the UA's teaching, learning, and sociocultural studies department, is co-director of the newly forming UA STEM Learning Center, a university and community-wide initiative spearheaded by the College of Education and the College of Science.

The center is an official partner of the invitation only 100Kin10.

“We made three commitments to 100Kin10: increase the number of early secondary STEM teachers statewide, increase the number of secondary mathematics and science teachers we prepare at the UA, and create the UA STEM Learning Center, a regional learning environment aimed at increasing the quality of STEM education from pre-K through university levels,” Johnson said.

The center integrates education, business, and community expertise and resources and will be housed in existing facilities at the Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium.

“The STEM Learning Center maximizes collaboration within our region," Johnson said. "This is essential to attracting and retaining the highest quality STEM workforce."

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