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Story from the Philadelphia Inquirer

October 9, 2003
National Science Foundation Awards $12.5 million Grant
to La Salle University-led Partnership
to Improve Region’s Math and Science Education

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $12.5 million grant to a La Salle University-led partnership involving 13 colleges and universities, Pennsylvania Intermediate Units and other nonprofit organizations to improve mathematics and science education within 46 school districts in Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey.

The partnership, known as the Math Science Partnerships of Greater Philadelphia (MSPGP), will potentially impact over 117,000 middle and high school students over the next five years.

“The size and complexity of this partnership represents a new and extraordinary regional collaboration uniting dozens of institutional partners and nonprofit organizations and scores of professionals who have acquired a tremendous expertise over the years,” said F. Joseph Merlino, Director of the MSPGP. “All will be working together to implement state-of-the-art curriculum and instructional strategies to improve math and science understanding for young people and enhance the preparation of future teachers.”

Partnering with La Salle in the MSPGP program are Arcadia University, Bryn Mawr College, Cedar Crest College, Haverford College, Lehigh Carbon County Community College, Lincoln University, Moravian College, Northampton Community College, Muhlenberg College, Villanova University, West Chester University, Widener University, and 32 Pennsylvania school districts and 14 New Jersey school districts.

The Math Science Partnership of Greater Philadelphia (MSPGP) is one of 13 new NSF awards totaling more than $216 million. The MSPGP was selected from a nationwide competition involving over 260 proposals that were merit reviewed by teams of panelists from around the country.

“The end result of this five-year project will be to provide young people with the sophisticated reasoning, skills and judgment necessary to better function as productive and responsible citizens in this fast-paced, technology driven 21st century,” said Merlino.

The National Science Foundation Math and Science Partnership program is part of a national education strategy enacted. The Math and Science Partnerships link elementary and secondary teachers and administrators with collegiate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics faculty. The partnerships focus on enhancing the quality, quantity and diversity of science and mathematics teachers, raising student achievement and offering challenging curricula at all grade levels.

"The Math and Science Partnerships are about reinvigorating mathematics and science instruction and strengthening curriculum across the United States," said Dr. Judith A. Ramaley, who leads NSF's Directorate for Education and Human Resources. "These awards are an investment in the talent pool of the nation's future scientists, engineers and mathematicians."