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Dodd Visits University High School
Nasreen Mustafa, a sophomore at the University High School of Science and Engineering, presents a mug to U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd, as Principal Elizabeth Colli looks on.
University High School sophomore Joshua Tagore and teacher Stephen Harbanuk take part in Friday's roundtable discussion. University Provost Donna Randall is seated behind them.
Dodd is a co-sponsor of the proposed legislation, a package of three bills collectively titled the "Protecting America’s Competitive Edge" (PACE) Act.
"This legislation is aimed at encouraging math and science education in this country, because we are way behind in terms of competition," Dodd said. "We need to encourage students and businesses to meet our technological needs. If not, our country will pay an awful price very quickly."
The University High School of Science and Engineering, which opened in September 2004, is currently located on the university's Asylum Avenue campus. A permanent facility for the school is expected to open in 2007 on the eastern edge of the university's main campus. The magnet high school utilizes an "early college" model and offers a challenging curriculum that emphasizes science, math, engineering, and technology.
During his visit to the school Friday, Dodd met with students, educators, and members of the business community, including University President Walter Harrison; University High School Principal Elizabeth Colli; Hartford School Superintendent Robert Henry; Delores Bolton, assistant superintendent of Hartford Magnet Schools; and John Rathgeber, president of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association.
University High School teachers Shobha Jenner, Stephen Harbanuk, and Aaron Brown, as well as students Andrew Earle, Joshua Tagore, and Nasreen Mustafa, also participated in the roundtable discussion with Dodd.
Dodd said that the roundtable session would give him valuable information and ideas to take back to the Senate. He said he is hoping that University High School students will participate in Washington, D.C., hearings on the PACE Act.
A recent report by the National Academy of Sciences examined America’s competitiveness in the global economy as it relates to math and science education. The PACE Act reflects many of the report’s recommendations.
Key provisions include:
- Creating 10,000 four-year scholarships of up to $10,000 per year for future math and science teachers;
- Funding new math and science teacher training programs in math and science departments at universities;
- Establishing summer academies at national laboratories and universities for up to 50,000 math and science teachers so that they can get hands-on experience and take new, innovative ideas back to their classrooms;
- Providing funding to increase the number of Advanced Placement classes in math and science around the country;
- Creating math and science high schools in each state through federal grants;
- Creating internships and summer programs for middle and high school students at national labs and other technology and scientific research facilities in America;
- Creating 25,000 four-year scholarships of up to $20,000 a year for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in science, engineering or math;
- Providing up to 5,000 students with graduate research fellowships in math, science and engineering to cover education costs and provide a stipend.