HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Northern Kentucky University’s Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics (CINSAM) today announced the expansion of its Next Generation STEM Classroom Project through a $340,000 grant from Toyota USA Foundation.

The project, which provides preschool through 7th grade teachers in Northern Kentucky with high quality classroom-embedded professional development in teaching science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), will be expanded to help serve districts outside Northern Kentucky. The grant will also help establish a new teacher fellows program to develop teacher-leader capacity within Northern Kentucky.

“This innovative program helps bridge the STEM skills gap, scaling impact by empowering teachers throughout the region,” said Mike Goss, president of Toyota USA Foundation.

Piloted in Boone and Kenton Counties during the 2012-13 school year, and expanded through a $560,000 grant from the Toyota USA Foundation, the program now serves 20 districts in Northern Kentucky, impacting nearly 1,000 in-service teachers, 200 pre-service teachers, and reaching more than 50,000 students. Last year, the Duke Energy Foundation also invested $75,000 in the program.

“The Toyota USA Foundation’s investment furthers our aim of improving STEM education and broadens our ability to impact teachers and students across Kentucky,” said Madhura Kulkarni, interim director of the NKU Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics. “Our region and our world demand a new generation of citizens that are prepared to constantly learn new skills. The inquiry-based learning at the core of the Next Generation STEM Classroom Project helps students to develop the ability and enthusiasm for lifelong learning.”


About The Next Generation STEM Classroom Project 2.0

The Next Generation STEM Classroom Project 2.0 models best practices for teachers from school districts throughout Kentucky. The program involves teaching a STEM lesson to a class of students with teachers from multiple grade levels observing around the room. After this “Fishbowl” class, the teachers meet with CINSAM staff for a “RECAP” breakdown of the lesson to discover best practices and to explore ways to apply lessons learned to their own teaching.

About The Toyota USA Foundation

The Toyota USA Foundation, a charitable endowment with over $100 million committed to enhancing the quality of education, supports innovative programs and builds partnerships with organizations that are dedicated to improving the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. For additional information about the Toyota USA Foundation, please visit http://www.toyotagrants.com/foundation.


CINSAM was established 17 years ago by Kentucky’s Council on Postsecondary Education as NKU’s Program of Distinction. Its mission is to promote enthusiasm, excellence, and equity in education at pre-school through undergraduate levels by advancing and integrating teaching, learning, and scholarship in the STEM disciplines. For more information, please visit cinsam.nku.edu.