FIPSE: The good work of the Great Plains STEM Education Center is directly related to the thoughtful support provided by the Fund for the Improvement of Secondary Education (FIPSE), a project from the Department of Education.  An overview of The Great Plains STEM Education Center 2010-2013 FIPSE project is as follows:


This noncompetitive, Congressionally-directed grant in the amount of $750,000 was awarded for the Great Plains STEM Education Center.

The Valley City State University Great Plains STEM Education Center will provide professional development opportunities and consulting services to teacher educators, pre-service elementary and secondary teachers, practicing teachers, career advisors, school counselors, school administrators, school boards, state administrators, policy makers and other stakeholders. The overall goal is to enable the full and proper implementation of STEM methodology through promotion of understanding and training of stakeholders. This will be accomplished through a focus on eight specific goals and related activities:

  • Goal 1: To produce more teachers who can teach STEM concepts with practical real-world engineering design and problem-solving skills involving math and science through growth of existing programs in Technology and Engineering.

  • Goal 2: Transform VCSU elementary teacher preparation through the inclusion of STEM methodology and content in methods and other classes.

  • Goal 3: To transform secondary teacher preparation in science, mathematics, technology and engineering classes at VCSU by adding STEM methodology and curriculum.

  • Goal 4: Provide professional development experiences with STEM methodology and curriculum to teachers in the VCSU service region.

  • Goal 5: Involve communities; parents, and students of all ages in STEM related co-curricular and extra curricular activities such as FIRST robotics competitions.

  • Goal 6: Provide tuition awards to pre-service teacher candidates to increase exposure to STEM methodology.

  • Goal 7: Provide career advisors and school counselors with professional development opportunities so as to enable them to advise students about STEM career opportunities.

  • Goal 8. Provide other stakeholders such as school administrators, school boards, state administrators and policy makers with professional development opportunities that will enable the full and proper implementation of STEM methodology throughout the region.


Search the FIPSE Database at or:

All of the GPSEC work has been influenced by this support, with the following highlights:


This blog that serves a wider audience is attributable to our FIPSE support.

For more information on any of these activities, contact