By Laura Barron
Memorial University of Newfoundland announced June 11 the largest donation ever to the Faculty of Education from a single source. Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HMDC) is donating more than $5 million to support two programs to enhance teacher education in the province.
HMDC’s investment will be used to introduce two new programs at Memorial. This gift will support the establishment of a new bachelor of education program for students already holding undergraduate degrees and who would like to pursue careers in teaching.
This program will focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The second program is a professional development program for current kindergarten to Grade 6 teachers in the province.
“Helping students develop an early interest in science, technology, engineering and math will open up a whole new world of possibilities as they progress through their academic careers,” said Jamie Long, HMDC president. “We expect this investment in teachers will create excitement in the classroom about fields essential to the continued development of the province’s resources.”
The two new programs are designed to expand teaching capacity in science, technology, engineering and math in the province, to enhance the interest and knowledge of students from kindergarten to Grade 6 in STEM areas, and to increase the participation of young people in STEM disciplines and careers.
The two programs will be called the Memorial University/Hibernia Project STEM Teacher Preparation Program and the Memorial University/Hibernia Project STEM Teacher Inquiry Program.
“I thank Hibernia for this progressive investment in programming for teachers in order to improve education and student interest in the STEM areas,” said Dr. David Wardlaw, provost and vice-president (academic) of Memorial University. “Our Faculty of Education will lead the way nationally, and provide a model for how to build STEM capacity in future primary and elementary teachers in Canada.”