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David Bricker
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Friday, May 19, 2006

IU ISTEME announced by Interim Provost Michael McRobbie

IU Institute for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education to enhance K-12 education

May 19, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- As part of the opening ceremonies of the National Science Olympiad at Indiana University Bloomington today (May 19), Interim Provost Michael A. McRobbie will announce the creation of a new center -- the IU Institute for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education (ISTEME). The center's focus will be to greatly improve Hoosier literacy in science, technology, engineering and math -- or STEM education -- for K-12 students throughout the state.

"There is a direct connection between improved STEM education and the future economic vitality and quality of life in the state," McRobbie said. "Indiana University faculty will bring their expertise and collective effort to bear on extending educational preparation for the students in Indiana by working with teachers and administrators on the research and application of best practices in STEM instruction and professional development programs."

ISTEME will advance collaboration among IU faculty and administrators, school teachers and administrators, representatives of state and local governments, industry leaders and members of the community. The purpose of their collaboration and teamwork is to harness the state's best efforts in addressing current challenges in educating Hoosier students to be competitive and successful in a knowledge-based economy.

"The importance of partnering with schools and school systems to develop these 21st-century skills among K-12 students within the state of Indiana cannot be underestimated," said Gerardo Gonzalez, Indiana University dean of the School of Education. "ISTEME will be committed to working with educators throughout the state to bring STEM education more prominently into the culture of teaching and learning."

ISTEME faculty and staff will conduct research on all aspects of human learning in order to inform educational practices and education systems. Researchers will identify best practices in teaching and learning, and collaborate with schools and other educational organizations to bring these practices into Hoosier classrooms.

A number of key IU personnel are involved in the creation of ISTEME with broad support from faculty in the sciences, social sciences and education. Members of ISTEME's steering committee include:

  • Sarita Soni, IUB vice provost for research and professor of optometry;
  • Jose Bonner, IUB professor of biology and director of educational outreach;
  • Catherine Ann Brown, IUB School of Education associate dean and professor of mathematics education;
  • Kenneth Hay, IUB associate professor of education;
  • Edward Robertson, IUB School of Informatics associate dean and professor of informatics;
  • Robert Goldstone, IUB Chancellor's Professor of Psycological and Brain Sciences and Cognitive Science Program;
  • Paul Sokol, director of the IU Cyclotron Facility and professor of physics;
  • David Daleke, IUB associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology;
  • Catherine Gray, IUB School of Education clinical lecturer and director of professional development.

ISTEME's Web site is located at:

To speak with Dean Gerardo Gonzalez or Vice Provost Sarita Soni, please contact David Bricker at 812- 8556-9035 or