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2010 News Releases

Longwood's ITTIP awarded Catalyst Initiative grant to foster global collaboration among educational institutions

September 22, 2010

HP

Longwood University's Institute for Teaching through Technology & Innovative Practices (ITTIP) has received a grant to participate in HP's Catalyst Initiative, a global social innovation program designed to develop more effective approaches to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education worldwide.

As a member of the new HP Catalyst "New Learner" consortium, Longwood's ITTIP is part of an elite cohort that will be exploring what the future of STEM+ learning and teaching can be. As part of the program, HP is donating $6 million to 35 educational institutions, including Longwood's ITTIP, across five consortia that will use the award to explore innovations in STEM+ learning and teaching. This builds on the Obama Administration's "Educate to Innovate" coalition designed to improve national outcomes in STEM subject matters.

Longwood President Patrick Finnegan said, "This exciting grant opportunity enables Longwood University and the ITTIP to expand its reach from a local level to a global scale.  Our students and teachers will have the opportunity to truly make a difference on a worldwide level by immersing themselves in hands-on initiatives.  We are so proud of the work of the ITTIP and its innovative solutions to improving educational practices so that today's and tomorrow's students can succeed."

The ITTIP's project, Global Innovation in Science and Technology (GIST), will provide opportunities for Virginia's students from low-income and rural communities to collaborate with their peers in Ghana and India to investigate STEM principles and develop inventive-thinking, communication, and collaborative problem-solving while working in small collaborative groups. Teachers will be prepared to integrate inquiry-based and project-based learning strategies using probes, games, models, and simulations while enhancing their understanding of STEM integration in the classroom.

Dr. Manorama Talaiver, director of the ITTIP and principal investigator of the grant proposal, said, "Longwood's ITTIP, along with the Southside Virginia Regional Technology Consortium, recently received the Governor's Technology Award for creating collaborative learning communities. The HP catalyst grant will provide opportunities for expanding collaborative learning communities globally. Working with HP and joining the Catalyst Initiative has been a real game changer for our students and teachers. They're given the resources to come up with new ideas, collaborate globally and challenge traditional ways of thinking. We're really excited about the future possibilities a network like this can create."

The HP Catalyst Initiative creates five global consortia in 2010, each focusing on a specific innovation theme for transforming STEM education. The five themes span: approaches to teacher preparation, online education, using technology to measure learning outcomes, and engaging students in global, collaborative learning experiences.

Member organizations were selected through an open and competitive global call for proposals. Eligibility was based on two principal criteria:  status as an accredited educational institution and country of location. Eligible countries for 2010 included Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Kenya, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.  Global institutions that will be leading the five HP Catalyst consortia include Carnegie Mellon University, the Sloan Consortium, FutureLab (UK), the CSIR Meraka Institute (South Africa) and the Agastya International Foundation (India). 

"The HP Catalyst Initiative underscores our vision of a world where innovation and collaboration are enabled by investments in technology and education," said Gabi Zedlmayer, vice president of the Office of Global Social Innovation for HP.  "The program is designed to help foster potential solutions to society's most critical challenges by educating and nurturing leaders that will be critical in ensuring we develop new communities and find new ways of doing things."

HP is building a global network of consortia that is attempting to develop more effective approaches to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The goal is to create international collaborative "sandboxes" of innovation that will explore what the future of STEM education can look like-a future where students use their technical and creative ingenuity to address urgent social challenges in their communities and around the world. More information is available at http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/socialinnovation/catalyst.html

The ITTIP is an outreach of Longwood University's College of Education and Human Resources.  The ITTIP researches and develops effective technology-integrated instructional strategies and models that are proven to be successful. Headquartered in South Boston, the Institute serves primarily 25 public school divisions extending from Patrick County eastward to the city of Franklin and as far north as Buckingham County. It works closely with, and is the fiscal and administrative agent for, the Southside Virginia Regional Technology Consortium (SVRTC).