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Teaching Research Institute awarded $1 million to train elementary math educational leaders - 12/11/14
The Teaching Research Institute (TRI) at Western Oregon University (WOU) has been awarded a $1 million grant by the Oregon Department of Education to recruit and educate 60 teachers to become Elementary Mathematics Instructional Leaders, which will help meet Oregon's 40-40-20 goal and the national need for STEM professionals. Project DEMILO (Developing Elementary Mathematics Instructional Leaders in Oregon) is a collaboration between WOU, the Willamette Education Service District and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub to address the need for increased mathematics content knowledge for elementary school teachers.

WOU is the first university in Oregon to offer an Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) approved program leading to an Elementary Mathematics Instructional Leader specialization According to Dr. Cheryl Beaver, the project director, "Underachievement in math in elementary school becomes a barrier for students who wish to pursue STEM jobs or a STEM college major."

Elementary Mathematics Instructional Leaders (EMIL) are teachers, teacher leaders or coaches who are responsible for supporting effective mathematics instruction and student learning in the classroom, school, district and/or state levels. Their specific roles will vary depending upon their school district, but all EMILs will act as a resource and provide leadership to their colleagues - a critical and timely role as the state fully implements the new Common Core State Standards in Mathematics

The strategies used in Project DEMILO to provide professional development for teachers in mathematics have been successfully used by the Oregon Coast STEM hub to increase elementary students' achievement in science. These strategies are an integral part of this project. "Given the time constraints of teachers and the distance challenges of living on the coast or in rural locations, using online and Web-video conferencing for professional development is necessary," said Ruth McDonald, partnerships coordinator, Oregon Coast STEM Hub.

Over the course of three years, three cohorts of 20 teachers will complete the EMIL specialization and employ their instructional leadership to help elementary students succeed and to meet Oregon's 40-40-20 goal. "For 40 percent of Oregon's students to have some post-secondary education and another 40 percent to attain a bachelor's degree, they will need to have a strong conceptual understanding of math," Beaver said. "The U.S. is predicted to need an additional 1 million STEM professionals by 2020. This project helps us contribute to closing that gap."

About TRI
The mission of TRI is to inform and facilitate change in educational and human service systems to improve the quality of life for individuals. In existence for over 50 years, TRI is guided by partnerships with consumers, families, and practitioners. TRI houses seven Centers focused conducting programs of research, developing evidence-based interventions that are provided through technical assistance and professional development, and increasing system capacity to effect change. TRI manages a yearly grants' expenditures budget of $7 to $7.5 million of extramural funds and houses 58 staff.

About WOU
Western Oregon University (WOU), founded in 1856 and located in Monmouth, is Oregon's oldest public university. The university has received national recognition for excellence for its focus on student learning and success by the Education Trust, US. News and World Report, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, National Association of Academic Advisors, and Parade Magazine. In 2010 WOU was recognized by the Education Trust as being the top university in America at eliminating the Latino graduation gap. WOU is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Portal Theatre premiere's devised production about the women of science (Photo) - 12/01/14
Portland-based Portal Theatre will hold its Oregon premiere of "No Belles," a devised production that tells the story of women who have won the Nobel Prize, nightly December 4 through 6 at Action/Adventure Theatre in Portland. Only 15 out of the 566 winners (less than 3 percent) in the sciences have been women, and this production tells the stories of those who have (and others who should have) received a Nobel Prize.

"No Belles" premiered at Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August, earning high reviews (see excerpts below) from reviewers such as "The Scotsman" (4 stars), "The Broadway Baby" (5 stars), "The Cult Den (10 out of 10), "Arts Award Voice" (5 stars) and "The Public Reviews" (4 stars). Portal Theatre has returned home to share its first production with Portland, a model it plans to follow in the future by creating a new production each year and performing it locally after taking it to festivals.

"No Belles" focuses on the stories of four women, three who won the Nobel Prize and one who did not, while telling a number of the other women's stories in short form. The production focuses on the stories, not about the science.

"'No Belles' is pure storytelling, staged very simply," said Michael Phillips, creator of Portal Theatre. "Three stools, three women, great stories. These stories are inspiring, especially since a lot of these women were engaged in science that has literally changed our lives. And, we think their stories are important, that we shouldn't forget them and their work."

Portal Theatre is led by Michael Phillips, artistic director and associate professor of theatre at Western Oregon University. Cast members are Jade Hobbs, Melissa Schenter and Kimberly Wilson, and the production manager is Jenessa Raabe. For more information about Portal Theatre, visit portaltheatre.com.

Tickets are $15 each and are available online at Brown Paper Tickets (brownpapertickets.com/event/928338). Each performance will be held at 8 p.m. Action/Adventure Theatre is at 1050 SE Clinton St. in Portland, Ore.

Reviews from Edinburgh Festival Fringe
"The Scotsman" (4 stars): http://www.wow247.co.uk/blog/2014/08/18/no-belles/
"What could have become a twee tribute or hectoring lecture in less sensitive hands instead emerges as a witty, captivating and positively feminist show, thanks to the infectious, disarming and ultimately very moving enthusiasm of the three performers for their subject matter."

"The Broadway Baby" (5 stars): http://www.broadwaybaby.com/show.php?id=699527
"No Belles is a well-pitched piece of theatre that's informative, and, perhaps more importantly, inspiring. It has important stories to tell and resonates well after you have left the theatre."/

"The Cult Den" (10 out of 10): http://www.thecultden.com/2014/08/event-review-no-belles.html
"On stage their performance was impeccable, genuine and heart-warming. I know it's early in
the month but this is my show of the Fringe this year and anything else will have to be truly great to beat it."
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