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Article - Engelmann awarded first Hubbard STEM learning instructorship at UNO

Engelmann awarded first Hubbard STEM learning instructorship at UNO

Engelmann awarded first Hubbard STEM learning instructorship at UNO

Posted: Thu, Mar 24, 2016

ABOUT THIS PHOTO: Carol Engelmann, a biology instructor at UNO, enjoys teaching outdoors at the Glacier Creek Preserve in Omaha. She’s the first recipient of the Hubbard STEM Learning Instructorship.

To help prepare K-12 educators in the teaching of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects, the University of Nebraska at Omaha announces a donation to support a new STEM learning instructorship. The appointment has been awarded to longtime science teacher Carol A. Engelmann, an instructor in the Department of Biology.

The instructorship was made possible with a gift of nearly $200,000 from the Claire M. Hubbard Foundation of Omaha to create the Hubbard STEM Learning Instructor Fund at the University of Nebraska Foundation. The expendable fund will provide an annual stipend for four years to help support UNO’s salary for the new instructor position.

“This innovative, new position based at the Glacier Creek Preserve will help us to design and deliver new inquiry-based content courses for teachers at both the undergraduate and graduate levels,” said Professor Neal Grandgenett, the Dr. George and Sally Haddix Community Chair of STEM Education. “These teachers will in turn be better able to teach these important STEM topics associated with the Nebraska Prairie to the students in their own classes.”  

The instructorship supports the university’s efforts to expand STEM education programs with particular focus on using the Glacier Creek Preserve as an instructional venue while also providing support for the development and delivery of innovative STEM education undergraduate and graduate coursework. Managed by UNO’s Department of Biology, the preserve is designed to restore and preserve some of eastern Nebraska’s natural prairie and woodland heritage while serving as an area for education, research and public enjoyment.

Engelmann, who holds a doctorate in geology and geoscience education, was appointed by UNO to focus on educating future teachers in STEM topics, including environmental studies, geology, geography and biology. She is also tasked with designing a graduate-level course on prairie ecosystems for educators and forming even stronger STEM partnerships with public schools in the Omaha area.

Professor Thomas Bragg, who serves as director of UNO Nature Preserves, said the Hubbard instructorship will substantially expand the ongoing central role the preserve plays in educating others about historic prairie heritage.

“The instructorship specifically focuses on future K-12 educators and comes at an important time in the preserve’s development, when the boundaries of the preserve are expanding as are the opportunities for education,” he said. “We look forward to working jointly with the instructorship to prepare future educators for teaching their students about the environment using the preserve as a model.”

Glacier Creek Preserve, 14810 State St., consists of remnant and restored tallgrass prairie, oak woodland, prairie-wetland and stream habitats which serve to protect the biological diversity of these disappearing natural resources. It also serves as an outdoor classroom for students and faculty at UNO as well as regional educational institutions for all grade levels.

About Carol A. Engelmann, Ph.D.

Carol A. Engelmann served as a science teacher for 35 years, teaching middle and high school students in Michigan, Texas, California and Nebraska, and was awarded the Albert Einstein Distinguished Education Fellow from the National Science Foundation in 2004.

Engelmann’s affiliation with UNO began in 2011 while serving as an external evaluator for various science and science grant programs before her appointment as a graduate instructor for the Earth System Science Education Alliance program in the Department of Teacher Education in 2013. She later became an instructor with the Department of Geography and Geology before joining the Department of Biology as a STEM learning instructor in 2015. 

Her academic and professional activities have included serving as a national representative for K-12 education on the EarthScope Education and Outreach Committee and serving on a variety of National Science Foundation review panels for science education, geology, computer science and the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. She was awarded the Nebraska Presidential Award for Excellence in Secondary Science Teaching in 2002 and was awarded the Toyota Tapestry Award in 2001.

Engelmann’s science education works have been published through various abstracts, conference posters and journals, and her doctoral dissertation is titled “Investigation of Strategies to Promote Effective Professional Development Experiences in Earth Science.”

Engelmann received a doctorate degree in geology and geoscience education from Michigan Technological University, a master’s degree in geology and secondary education from the University of Houston at Clear Lake and a bachelor’s degree in elementary math and science education from Michigan State University.

About the University of Nebraska Foundation

The University of Nebraska Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization that has raised private gifts to support the University of Nebraska for more than 79 years. During the 2014-2015 fiscal year, donors provided the university with $212.7 million for scholarships, academic programs, medical and other research, faculty support and facilities. Our Students, Our Future is the foundation’s current initiative to secure broad support for students. For more information, visit nufoundation.org.
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