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HMDC Donates $5M for STEM Program Development and Teacher Education

June 14, 2012

June 11, 2012 will go down as a historic day for the Faculty of Education. The largest single contribution in the history of Memorial University from the Hibernia Management Development Commission (HMDC) has netted the Faculty of Education just over five million dollars in funding to assist in the development of educational areas such as science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

The program, to be spearheaded by Dr. Karen Goodnough and Dr. Mary Stordy, will see two components for K-6 teacher educators: (1) pre-service enhancements for a special cohort of the B. Ed. focusing on STEM education, and (2) professional development for teachers already in the classroom in the noted areas. The goal of the STEM projects is to better orient both educators and students with the components of STEM in an effort to develop further confidence among primary and elementary students as they move through the system.

"This marks a transformative step in education," said HMDC chief financial officer Paul Phelan, who went on to state that the program hopes to reinforce STEM components at a younger age in students through "investing in teachers."

Dean of Education Dr. Kirk Anderson stated: "Our teachers do excellent work and this program will enable a timely transition consistent with 21st century learning approaches. The Memorial University STEM project will position the faculty at the forefront of STEM education in this country. Canada's education system is at the top of the English-speaking world, so in discussing this program we're talking about Newfoundland and Labrador standing with the best of the best."

The official figure of the donation, $5,063,500, is the largest such contribution in the history of the faculty.