University Communications

Immaculata University is Awarded A National Science Foundation Grant Worth $600,000

Immaculata University has been awarded a $600,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant that extends from March 2008 through February 2011. The grant will be in conjunction with the Chester County Intermediate Unit and the University of Pennsylvania. Immaculata is the lead institution on the grant, which is entitled "Transforming the Tri-State Philadelphia Region: A Partnership for Innovation in Science and Technology Education." Funds from the grant will be used to develop a pipeline of students, to increase the number of middle school students choosing science courses in high school, and to increase the number of high school seniors choosing a technical education and career path after graduation.
James K. Murray, Jr., Ph.D., associate professor of Chemistry at Immaculata University, is the principal investigator for the grant. Upon being selected for the grant, Dr. Murray commented that "This is an absolutely wonderful opportunity for Immaculata University! The fact that NSF awarded this highly competitive grant to our institution shows they have confidence in us to successfully carry out this project. As a chemist, I know how important it is to reach students early to choose science and that is what we aim to do. I see this project as a perfect blend of a new and exciting field in science with Immaculata´s rich history in education."
Dr. Barry Stein, from BFS Consultants and senior consultant on the grant, stated that "Our NSF grant, the follow-on to a highly successful initial grant, addresses a major national problem, decreased interest by students in science and technology education. We will prepare and motivate middle and high school teachers to introduce the fascinating and stimulating new field of nanotechnology in their classrooms and inspire student interest.
Program elements include: Teacher training — introduce them to the emerging and dynamic field of nanotechnology through one-day workshops and an Introduction to Nanotechnology Course for middle school and high school teachers; experiment starter kits; remote access to equipment at local universities; and an Outreach Providers Network, comprising individuals from companies, ranging from senior executives and scientists to technicians who will visit schools and present real-world career and technical examples to students. As a result of training, teachers will be able to incorporate nanotechnology concepts into existing chemistry, physics, and biology courses through the use of modular experiments.
The National Science Foundation, located in Arlington, VA, is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to fund specific research proposals that have been judged the most promising by a rigorous and objective merit-review system. According to their Web site, the NSF is the funding source for approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.
For more information about the NSF grant, please contact Dr. James Murray at 610-647-4400 Ext. 3307.
Immaculata University, a Catholic coeducational institution, is located 20 miles west of Philadelphia, south of the intersection of routes 30 and 352, between Paoli and Exton.

y:word: public relations: news releases: IU Receives NSF Grant #104
(6.2.08)