College hosting regional math and science education symposium

October 13, 2008

With the well-recognized need to improve science and math education in kindergarten through 12th grade, Penn State Harrisburg and the Penn State College of Medicine are gathering experts from education, government and the private sector for an Oct. 24 public symposium addressing the related challenges, issues and successes facing the region.

The free public Regional Symposium on Science and Math Education at Penn State Harrisburg's Olmsted Building Auditorium is focused on "discussing and profiling efforts in the region aimed at improving math and science education in our schools through programs developed by a variety of institutions and organizations," said Marian Walters, associate dean for Research and Graduate Studies.

"There is a well-recognized need to improve science and math education, both regionally and nationally, to meet the expanding needs of our increasingly technology-driven workforce and to provide the necessary talents to build on the technologies," Walters added. "These needs are occurring in the face of equally well-documented reductions in competitiveness in science and math of the American youth."

The daylong symposium, which begins with registration and welcomes at 8:15 a.m., partners the extensive science and math education and research strengths of Penn State Harrisburg and the College of Medicine with those of government, schools and colleges, and regional collaborations to “provide information from throughout the region on efforts to address the need," Walters stated. "We anticipate the audience will be equally diverse, including schoolteachers and administrators, college faculty, parents, state and regional government officials and other interested parties."

The symposium will feature discussion sessions targeting: issues in science and math education from an academic setting; area collaborations and partnerships; and state and federal initiatives.

The 12:30 p.m. luncheon keynote addressing Pennsylvania STEM initiatives will be presented by Sue Mukherjee, special assistant with the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

The education session will be moderated by Penn State Harrisburg faculty members Thomas Eberlein, associate professor of chemistry, and John Haddad, associate professor of American studies and literature. Members of the panel will be Richard Duschl, Waterbury chair of education at University; Steven Peterson, director of the Penn State Harrisburg School of Public Affairs; and Deborah Davis, manager of Diversity, Inclusion and Employment Equity at the College.

Moderated by Kevin Harter, senior vice president of the Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central Pennsylvania, the session on collaborations will feature Steven Bishop, vice president of the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts; Judith Bond, College of Medicine Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology chair; Gaylen Bradley, visiting College of Medicine professor; and Mike Thompson, Middletown Area High School director of counseling and career development.

Kelly Lewis, president and chief executive officer of the Technology Council of Central Pennsylvania, will moderate the state and federal overview with science and education consultant Kip Bollinger, science education adviser to the Pennsylvania Department of Education Stephen Dear, and College of Medicine faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Gail Matters.


The luncheon and symposium are free to those attending. Advance registration is required by visiting For information, phone the Office of Research and Graduate Studies at (717) 948-6303.


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Last Updated November 18, 2010