The initiatives presently underway at UMBC show the depth of our commitment to improving the quality of pre-K-16 STEM education by providing future and practicing teachers with the education and experiences they need to develop and sustain quality STEM curriculum and instruction in their classrooms.

Aspiring Teachers Living Learning Community
Aspiring Teachers at UMBC (AT@UMBC) is an interactive community designed for students who want to become teachers. Residents of this floor explore teaching as a profession through a 1-credit course, work with youth-serving projects for 15 hours per semester through service-learning and become leaders among their peers through discussion forums on teaching and learning, enrichment activities in the arts and sciences, social gatherings and development of an ePortfolio. Sandy Danna, former teacher and principal, serves as the faculty advisor to AT@UMBC and teaches a course for participants in which they investigate current issues in education, media images of teachers, and service opportunities in schools. Email her at with questions.

Biology Tutorial Center
Through the Biology Tutorial Center, peer tutors provide both walk-in and scheduled tutorial assistance for key courses in the biological sciences. The center provides an excellent opportunity for prospective teachers to obtain first-hand experience in utilizing tutoring techniques to help peers become efficient, independent learners.

The College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences (CNMS) is opening a new CNMS Active Science Teaching and Learning Environment (CASTLE) on the first floor of UMBC's University Center in UC 115.  This special classroom, which will accommodate over 90 students working in hierarchical groups of 9 and 3, will serve as an incubator for new strategies and practices in active learning instruction as a way to promote and disseminate these practices throughout CNMS science and mathematics course offerings.   

The Center for Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education (CESTEME) is an interdisciplinary collaborative venture between UMBC, Baltimore County Public School (BCPS) and the Math and Science Partnership Network (MSPnet). Located on the UMBC campus, the center is focused on improving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

Chemistry Discovery Center
UMBC’s Department of Chemistry, the Office of Undergraduate Education and the Shriver Center have created the Chemistry Discovery Center, a problem-based, high-tech learning lab focused on cooperative learning. Through the center’s initiatives pass rates in Chemistry 101 are increasing and faculty have seen additional improvement at all grade levels. The number of majors, second majors and minors in chemistry and biochemistry is growing. And an overall improvement in group skills is also migrating to upper-level chemistry classes.

Chemistry Tutorial Center
The Chemistry Tutorial Center provides an opportunity for advanced undergraduate and graduate students interested in teaching to tutor and instruct their peers. Introductory courses in Chemistry are the focus of highly innovative externally funded initiatives to improve instruction and retention of students in chemistry and allied curricula.

Educational Outreach Program
Each of the students in UMBC’s ENCH 427 course (which is a required junior-level chemical and biochemical engineering course) are required to perform a group outreach project in a local high school class. The groups select their own topic pertaining to heat of mass transfer and each project must consist of a presentation, hands-on activities and evaluation of the presentation from the class and teacher. In addition, each group must present the class with additional materials for the students interested in learning more about the topic presented.

FIRST Lego League
FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is a result of an exciting alliance between FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and the LEGO Company. Guided by adult mentors and their own imaginations, FLL students solve real-world engineering challenges, develop important life skills and learn to make positive contributions to society. FLL provides students age 9-14 with an opportunity to challenge their math and science skills in an internationally recognized competitive environment.

Friendship Academy of Science and Technology (FAST) Classroom Fellows
FAST Classroom Fellows is based on a successful model utilized by The Shriver Center through previous programs (Teaching Enhancement Partnership Project and the Vertically Integrated Partnerships K-16). Classroom Fellows spend 7-8 hours in the classroom working with FAST students and their teachers to support STEM instruction and learning. Classroom Fellows are recruited by The Shriver Center across UMBC STEM majors.

The Future Engineers in Dynamic Systems (FEDS)
FEDS is a unique two-week summer education program out of UMBC’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and supported by The Shriver Center for junior and senior high school students in the Baltimore region. It focuses on dynamics, vibration, acoustics and system control in the mechanical engineering discipline. This program is supported through a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation.

Learning Resource Center
UMBC’s Learning Resource Center offers one-on-one and small group tutoring in a variety of 100 and 200 level courses. Because all tutors are fellow UMBC students, the LRC provides an excellent opportunity for prospective teachers to obtain first-hand experience in utilizing tutoring techniques to help peers become efficient, independent learners.

Maryland Academy of Health & Technology Sciences (MATHS) Tutors
MATHS’ mission is to provide an intellectually rigorous, personalized and supportive college-prep education to 6-12 grade students, with an emphasis on the biotechnology, health science and bioengineering fields. Its vision is to cultivate academically-driven, principled students that mature into leaders and contributors of their respective communities. The Shriver Center recruits UMBC students to volunteer at MATHS to support the program’s mission both in and out of the classroom.

The National Academy Foundation (NAF) High School Coaches
UMBC student “coaches” work in either one-on-one or small group settings with NAF students to prepare for the Algebra, English, Biology and Government High School Assessment (HSA). These students have not met expectations required to pass the HSA and in turn may not be able to graduate from high school. The Shriver Center recruits UMBC volunteers, especially for the Biology HSA to coach NAF students in remedial support to be successful.

Physics Tutorial Center
The Department of Physics sponsors the Physics Tutorial Center to assist students in the introductory physics courses. Course instructors and physics graduate students provide one-on-one help on a walk-in basis. The center is equipped with computer work stations which facilitate online homework assignments. Located in Room 226 of the Physics Building, the center is open approximately 15 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters. For more information, please contact Dr. Lili Cui at

Project Lead The Way
Project Lead The Way® is all about teaching and learning. The hands-on, project and problem-based PLTW® approach adds rigor to traditional technical programs and relevance to traditional academics. UMBC provides Principles of Engineering training for teacher certification with Project Lead The Way®.

Teacher Quality Biology Program at UMBC
Teacher Quality Biology (TQB) is a comprehensive professional development training program in biology at UMBC. It is designed to enhance the skills of Maryland middle school and high school teachers with cutting-edge biological laboratory procedures that can be used in their classrooms.

Teacher Quality Chemistry Program at UMBC
Teacher Quality Chemistry (TQC) is a comprehensive professional development program in chemistry at UMBC. It is designed to enhance participant success in the classroom and helps teachers to become highly qualified in chemistry through face-to-face and online instruction with UMBC faculty.

The UMBC BCPS STEM project is an innovative partnership between UMBC and Baltimore County Public Schools that facilitates the implementation, testing, refinement and dissemination of promising practices for improving STEM student achievement as well as teacher quality and retention in selected high-need elementary, middle and high schools.


Future Educators
The Future Educators at UMBC is an organization within the Department of Education for students who share a mutual interest in teaching. The group offers undergraduate and graduate students in the early-childhood, elementary and secondary programs an opportunity to explore contemporary issues in education and to build a sense of community and support among future educators. Students work together on special projects such as author appearances and campus visits by high school students. Each semester, a panel of student teachers relates classroom experiences to students who are preparing for the internship. All students who are interested in teaching are welcome to join the group and participate in its activities.  Contact Sandy Danna ( for more information on membership.

Kappa Delta Pi - Chi Psi Chapter
This international honor society is open to juniors and seniors with a GPA of 3.25 or higher who exemplify the mission of the Department of Education as well as the mission of Kappa Delta Pi.  The mission of Kappa Delta Pi is to sustain an honored community of diverse educators by promoting excellence and advancing scholarship, leadership and service. Founded in 1911 at the University of Illinois, Kappa Delta Pi was established to foster excellence in education and promote fellowship among those dedicated to teaching. Pioneering from its beginning by including women as well as men, Kappa Delta Pi grew from a local chapter to the international organization it is today. Today Kappa Delta Pi is the only education honor society that represents all facets of the education profession for undergraduates, graduate/doctoral students, K–12 teachers, administrators, university faculty and retirees. There are now chapters at 582 North American colleges and universities, active professional/alumni chapters in 12 states, and a total active membership of more than 45,000. We will be celebrating 100 years of excellence in education in 2011.  The UMBC Chi Psi Chapter was established in 2001.  Contact Sandy Danna ( for more information on membership.