About the Compute-STEM Project
Compute-STEM is a project funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR). The project aims to increase STEM knowledge by creating highly qualified teachers that can use inquiry and programming to teach science, analytical reasoning, and creativity. This project also intends to increase awareness of workforce needs in computer science and develop computer programming as a discipline in secondary schools that can support learning across all subject matter. Instructional Leadership Teams (ILTS) consisting of TUteach undergraduate students and secondary school in-service teachers from the Greater Philadelphia Region, will develop naval-centric STEM-coded lessons. Each lesson will integrate coding and computer skills, across disciplines of biology, chemistry, environmental science and physics. This new approach to STEM instruction will connect naval workforce applications, science and mathematics content, coding, computer applications and algorithmic thinking to multiple populations.
About the TUTeach Program
Temple University’s TUteach program is a fundamentally new approach to education that will better prepare science and mathematics teachers to serve diverse learners across the region and the nation. In TUteach, science and math majors get early and intensive pre-service teaching experience, the latest pedagogical tools, and extensive mentoring and support as they become effective, state-certified teachers whose passion for their subject is passed on, to their students. TUteach was built on the UTeach model, recognized nationally for developing and supporting teachers of high quality. TUteach partners with the School District of Philadelphia and other local school districts to address the nation’s shortage of math and science teachers. Additionally, our many partnerships with community organizations aim to extend STEM learning opportunities outside the classroom.it.
The Compute-STEM Team
Susan Jansen Varnum, serves as the PI for the Compute-STEM program. She is currently the Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs, Science Education & Community Engagement and a Professor of Chemistry in the College of Science and Technology at Temple University. Professor Jansen Varnum has over 25 years of experience as a chemist and STEM educator with over 130 publications in laboratory science and science education. She has trained over 19 Ph.D. students and 120 undergraduate students. She has been the PI of multiple educational grants including NSF-TUSMART, NSF AYS – Science in the City, NIH-Bridges to the Baccalaureate, and the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp at Temple University. Professor Jansen Varnum currently serves as the PI on the NSF – Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, the Office of Naval Research Compute-STEM Project, and the Panaphil/Uphill Foundation – Frances Velay Fellowship Program. In addition, for the last 8 years she has been the PI of the Greater Philadelphia STEM Center Summer camp and SeaPerch Science Afterschool Programs, which have been funded by NDEP, ONR, and NSWC-Philadelphia Division. In 2016, Temple University’s College of Science and Technology hosted the Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge, which brought over 1,000 school-aged students together. This initiative was spearheaded by Professor Jansen Varnum and dedicated scientists and engineers form NAVSEA and NAVSUP. The event was so successful that Professor Jansen Varnum and her team were asked to partner again each year since 2016. In addition, Professor Jansen Varnum and her team were asked to co-develop and host the first SeaGlide Challenge in the United States at the 2017 event. Since 2013, Professor Jansen Varnum has served as the Director for the TUteach program at Temple University. Under her leadership the program has grown immensely, by strengthening partnerships with multiple school districts and out-of-school providers from around the Greater Philadelphia region.
Joseph P. DuCette serves as the Evaluator for the Compute-STEM program. He is currently the Senior Associate Dean of Assessment and Evaluation and Professor of Education Psychology for the College of Education at Temple University. He has over 25 years of experience in testing and measurement to this program. He has been a program evaluator and research for multiple academic programs and social programs. He has been contributed to a series of studies on literacy, formative assessment in STEM education, attitudes of teachers on teaching science and attitudes of children on learning science. He was co-PI recently on the NSF-TUSMART project.
Amanda Schantz serves as a Teacher Leader for the Compute-STEM program. She is the recipient of the 2018 PA Council of Teachers of Mathematics New Teacher Award and currently teaches mathematics and AP computer science at Central High School in Philadelphia. She is a 2017 Robert Noyce Scholar graduate of the TUTeach program, earning a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with Teaching. She strongly advocates for young educators, including pre-service teachers, to become involved with local, state, and national mathematics organizations. Amanda has presented at many ATMOPAV and PCTM conferences, as well as the 2016 NCTM Regional Conference in Philadelphia and the 2017 UTeach Conference in Austin. Most recently, she accepted the opportunity to speak at the 2019 UTeach STEM Educators Conference. In addition to becoming involved with conferences and networking, Amanda has held various positions with Temple's College of Science and Technology, including lead roles in the STEM-UP program, collaborative positions in curriculum development, and an assisting role in the Caring People Alliance Summer Camp.
Dana Russell serves as a Teacher Leader and summer camp curriculum developer for the Compute-STEM program. Dana is a 2017 graduate of the TUTeach program earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology with Teaching. She is currently teaching Environmental Science and Marine Biology at New Foundations Charter School in Northeast Philadelphia.
Since becoming involved with TUTeach, Dana has worked on several curriculum design projects, including the piloting of a virtual reality STEM curriculum. Non-Temple credentials include curriculum development and instruction for the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University and a blended learning teacher professional development program for the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. She recently finished her tenure within the Teacher in the Workplace Fellowship and will shortly begin in the Project Based Learning Certification Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Dana hopes to continue to work towards better integrating technology into STEM classrooms.
Mohit P. Patel serves as a Content Specialist and Course Instructor for the Compute-STEM program. Professor Patel received his B.S. degree in Biochemistry from Wayne State University and Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from Temple University. During his graduate school days, he served as a teaching assistant for many TUteach and College of Science and Technology Courses where he quickly developed an interest in working with pre- and in-service teachers. He is currently an Assistant Professor in Temple University's College of Science and Technology and focuses his efforts on teaching introductory and upper level STEM courses while supporting multiple undergraduate research programs, high school STEM programs, and teacher workshops year round.
Tiffany ElBardissi serves as the Program Manager for the Compute-STEM project. She holds a B.S. in Chemistry and a M.Ed. degree in Educational Psychology and is currently the Science Education Programs Manager for the College of Science and Technology at Temple University. She has over 12 years of experience as a project specialist for many informal and formal STEM education programs. She has contributed to multiple research designs and data and analyses.
Kathleen McKinley serves as Content Specialist and Course Instructor for the Compute-STEM program. She currently is an Assistant Professor and Master Teacher of Mathematics for the TUteach program in the College of Science and Technology at Temple University. Professor McKinley has over 25 years of experience as a STEM educator, curriculum specialist, and administrator. She has been an active member of the Pennsylvania High School Mathematics Assessment Committee for 16 years and currently is a member of the NCTM, NCSM, ASCD, and T Cubed.
Herbert Green serves as the Educational Support Specialist for the Compute-STEM program. Professor Green earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from Lehigh University and his Doctorate in Mathematics Education from Temple University. In 2008, he was the original Master Teacher for the TUteach program at Temple University, serving as a course instructor, advisor, and mentor to many TUteach students through the years. Prior to joining TUteach, he served in various instructional and leadership capacities in the School District of Philadelphia, including teaching Mathematics and Computer Science, serving as department head, assistant principal, district lead mathematics Coach, and Leader of Strategic Support Teams. He is a member of the NCTM, PCTM, ATMOPAV, Benjamin Banneker Association, and Women and Mathematics Education.
Elliot Bickel serves as a Teacher Leader for the Compute-STEM program. He currently teaches computer science and math to high school and middle school students at Carver Engineering & Science in Philadelphia, including Pre Calculus and AP Computer Science Principles courses. He is the FTC robotics team and Gear Girls coach. Elliot is a graduate of Temple University, where he majored in Mathematics with Teaching through the TUteach program, and he also worked with the Model-Evidence Link Diagram research team to study critical thinking in science classrooms. Elliot is currently working on a Master's degree in Computer and Information Technology from University of Pennsylvania.
Collin McCann serves as a Teacher Leader for the Compute-STEM program. He is a 2016 TUTeach graduate earning a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with Teaching. Throughout his time at Temple Collin participated as a Corps Member and Team Leader for Jumpstart, led Hallahan High School to win the 2017 Seaglide Challenge, led various afterschool programs through the STEM Teach Network, and finished his undergrad career student teaching at Julia R. Masterman High School. He is currently in his third year teaching high school math at New Foundations Charter High School where he also coaches soccer and baseball.