Grant Helps Grad Students

07/09/2009
By From the Lowell Sun

By Caitlin McGuinness

LOWELL -- With the help of a five-year, $2.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), UMass Lowell graduate students will reach out to high-school teachers and students about the importance of scientific research.

The project, called "GK-12: Vibes and Waves in Action," aims to educate students on sound waves and electromagnetic vibrations. It relates to high-school math and physics curriculums.

"The NSF Division of Graduate Education is interested in improving the skills of prospective scientists and engineers, so they can better communicate and collaborate in a variety of settings, including the K-12 community," said Professor Kavitha Chandra of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and a project leader.

As part of the program, graduate students will be recruited as "GK-12 fellows" and be trained intensively. They will spend 10 hours a week each in physics and math classrooms, working with teachers and students.

The Motorola Foundation supported the pilot version of the project and was granted money to continue the Vibes and Waves in Action project for a second year. Raytheon Co., MathWorks and MIT Lincoln Labs will provide professional guidance and a mentor network.