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LSI / Our Centers / Florida Center for Research in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics / Outreach



An important way in which FCR-STEM achieves its mission is by reaching out to communities – communities of educators, students, parents, businesses and other groups – to offer training and tools that promote STEM.

Professional Development

FCR-STEM offers high-quality professional development to educators across Florida. Some current and recent programs are listed below.

FCR–STEM Conference

FCR–STEM holds professional development conferences for Florida educators who teach STEM subjects to K-12 students, with the goal of connecting research to practice.

The 2014 FCR–STEM Conference will be May 28-30 in Fort Lauderdale.

The largest gathering of its kind in Florida, the 2014 FCR–STEM Conference will create a high-quality professional development opportunity for hundreds of Florida’s K-12 math and science educators as world-class researchers and experts share the latest developments in STEM education.

Details about the program, registration, and accommodations will be available in early January. In the meantime, mark your calendar today for an event you won’t want to miss.

If you have questions about the conference or the presentations, please contact Vivian Alarcon at FSU’s Learning Systems Institute at

News about the 2014 FCR–STEM Conference will also be available via the FCR-STEM Newsletter (subscribe here).

FCR–STEM held two successful conferences in 2011 and 2012.

The 2011 conference in Destin attracted more than 250 educators and featured some 60 sessions.

2012 conference in St. Petersburg attracted 500 educators and researchers and featured more than 80 sessions related to STEM content and pedagogy.


This $5.4 million professional development program, designed and implemented by FCR-STEM and funded by the Florida Department of Education, is helping middle- and high-school teachers cope with the ever-growing body of science knowledge and evolving educational standards and assessments. Focusing on life science and earth and space science, the project is dubbed Biology Institute and Online Support: Collaborative Opportunities to Promote Excellence in Science – or BIOSCOPES for short. The project is a partnership with the Panhandle Area Educational Consortium (PAEC) and 20 urban, mid-sized and rural districts in North and Central Florida, including 15 high-need districts. For more information, visit, see the press release or contact project principal investigator Joseph Travis.

A teacher takes part in an “Integrating STEM” workshop.

A teacher takes part in an “Integrating STEM” workshop.

Integrating STEM: Mathematics, Science and Computing

With a $495,000 grant from the Helios Education Foundation, FSU faculty from the departments of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, the Office of Science Teaching Activities, and the Learning Systems Institute are teaming up with Citrus County Public Schools and the Southwest Florida Water Management District to provide two consecutive years of teacher professional development for middle grades mathematics and science teachers in Citrus County. The project features summer- and academic-year professional development for teachers focusing on STEM-related content knowledge and lesson study. A summer bridge program for academically at-risk rising 6th graders provide additional opportunities for lesson study and to increase student interest and achievement in mathematics, science, and computing.

Leadership for Mathematics & Science Instruction (LMSI) Professional Development for School Leaders

The LMSI professional development is designed for elementary principals along with a teacher leader from their school to engage in standards-based instruction from the perspective of a learner, a teacher, and an observer in order to increase their content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge related to Florida’s Next Generation Sunshine State Standards in Mathematics and Science. As a result of participating in LMSI, principals and teacher leaders became better prepared to support the implementation of the new standards and have a positive impact on student achievement in mathematics and science through the communities of instructional practice within their schools.

In 2008-09, 46 elementary principals served as the pilot cohort during the development of the professional development (formerly known as Principal PROMiSE). During 2009, 270 more leaders were trained (135 principals and teacher leader pairs) in statewide cohorts. And during 2010, 154 more leaders (77 principals and teacher leader teams) completed four regional professional development sessions to become better equipped to lead their schools in the implementation of the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards in Mathematics and Science through professional learning communities.

Mathematics and Science Partnerships: Florida Partnership to Rejuvenate & Optimize Mathematics and Science Education PROMiSE Online Training Modules

With this $1.2 million grant from the Florida Department of Education, researchers are developing for online use 49 professional learning modules for K-12 teachers. The modules are based on workshops developed by Florida PROMiSE (Partnership to Rejuvenate and Optimize Mathematics and Science Education in Florida), a partnership of several state universities, school districts and educational consortia. The PROMiSE workshops featured lessons and materials focused on improving teachers’ knowledge of math and science as well as their teaching skills. Designed so teachers can complete them at their convenience in about half an hour, the modules will be made available through CPALMS, a Web-based system of free instructional and professional development resources developed by FCR-STEM for the Florida Department of Education.

A workshop instructor helps a teacher at a PROMiSE Summer Institute.

A workshop instructor helps a teacher at a PROMiSE Summer Institute.


PROMiSE Summer Institutes

At these 2010 summer institutes, math and science elementary and secondary teachers from across Florida devoted two weeks to becoming better teachers. The institutes were led by a team of Florida State University math and science faculty and district resource teachers from partner school districts. This project was funded by a $6.3 million, three-year federal flow-through grant to the Florida Department of Education and organized through Florida PROMiSE, a partnership of several state universities, school districts and educational consortia.

At follow-up sessions conducted during the school year, participants worked in teams to design lessons from the content learned over the summer. The experience was designed to encourage these teams to develop into ongoing learning communities, allowing teachers to share ideas and support each other in their professional development.

For more information, see the press release.

Educational Outreach

History Repeats Itself: Women in the History of Mathematics for Women Learning Mathematics

Funded by the Tensor Foundation in cooperation with the Mathematical Association of America, this project was designed to introduce young women in both secondary school and undergraduate mathematics programs to the mathematical contributions of female mathematicians, through the words of the historical figures themselves. The project was heavily influenced by the notion that mathematics is a human construction, that it has a story to tell, and that its history has the power to illuminate the relationship that an individual shares with the mathematics that they study and use. The project also drew on the idea that mathematics is a social construction, that the subject is best learned within a community through discourse, shared understandings and the relationship between experts and novices.

In the spring of 2011, History Repeats Itself brought together a group of young women ages 12 to 20 to read, analyze and discuss original works of four women famous for their contributions to mathematics. Participants worked in both small groups and as a whole class to read, analyze and discuss the contributions of these women to a field of mathematics (algebra, number theory, statistics and geometry). This allowed them to experience mathematics from perspectives different than those taught in classrooms – in the words of the mathematicians themselves, and through shared experience as a member of a mathematical community.

For more information, visit the project website, see the press release or contact project principal investigator Kathy Clark.


CPALMS is an online standards-based resource system that can help science centers and educators not only find peer- and expert-reviewed resources for science exhibits, summer camps, teacher professional development and other initiatives, but also share their own resources for review and distribution worldwide. Launched in 2008 with funding from the Florida Department of Education, CPALMS connects teachers, administrators, parents, students and the public with free, high-quality resources and tools, aligned to Florida’s K-12 standards in science and math.

View all FCR-STEM projects in LSI’s project database. For information on other LSI projects conducted over the decades, please explore our projects database: Browse by research area or center, or search by title or investigator.