I. Executive Summary

As a National Science Foundation (NSF) Science and Technology Center (STC), the Center for Ultrafast Optical Science (CUOS) is charged to promote math and science literacy for all chidren as a means of assuring a steady supply of qualified future scientists and engineers—with particular emphasis on minority groups currently underrepresented in technical fields. To meet this challenge, the CUOS K—12 Education Outreach Program was designed to improve science and mathematics instruction and student achievement at all grade levels. Career exploration activities were designed to expose young people to the exciting variety of careers open to them in order to motivate them to pursue the educational foundation necessary in technical fields. The Outreach Program's focus has been on efforts that are either (1) supportive of systemic change or (2) effective at changing individual lives.

In the fall of 1995, the Outreach Program helped to form the Southeastern Michigan Math-Science Learning Coalition. The learning community coalition model offers a structure for bringing together everyone with a stake in K–12 student outcomes and helping each of us to find a suitable way to contribute to solutions. School-based learning communities are being specifically developed, through a supplemental grant, in Pontiac and Ypsilanti public schools.

This progress report identifies the accomplishments of the CUOS K–12 Education Outreach Program, traces the evolution of the program, and recommends ways in which service and delivery may be improved. We also communicate the most important lessons we have learned in all facets of our program, which include

  1. volunteer programs cannot work well without regular, paid coordinators,
  2. they will only endure and be effective when the volunteers fill a role that is natural for them, and
  3. successful collaborations require clear delineation of roles and responsibilities from the early planning stages.

CUOS believes the coalition model, with Web-based resources and a focus on direct services for local students, may be useful and adopted by others.

1998 Progress Report
I. Executive Summary
II. Introduction
  A. The Problem
  B. The Solution
III. Program Implementation
  A. Organization and Management
  B. Systemic Initiatives to Build School-Centered Learning Communities
  C. Coalition Web Site
  D. Reach Out! Student Organization
  E. Math-Science Tutor/Mentoring Programs
  F. Science Outreach Programs
  G. Coalition Building and Stakeholder Development
IV. Conclusion
Appendix A: Coalition Partners List
Appendix B: Web-Site Home Page

Return to Coalition Home Page