Rural Teachers & UW–Madison Education Researchers Share Perspectives on STEM Education in Wisconsin

Third annual Teacher Speakout! will feature 19 rural STEM educators from 18 school districts

November 13, 2019   |   By Lynn Armitage

WCER Director Bob Mathieu delivers opening remarks at the inaugural Teacher Speakout! event.

WCER Director Bob Mathieu delivers opening remarks at the inaugural Teacher Speakout! event.

MADISON, WIS.—The Rural Education Research and Implementation Center (RERIC) will host 19 rural STEM educators from 18 school districts around Wisconsin for the third annual Teacher Speakout!, Friday, Nov. 15, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, 1025 West Johnson Street, 13th Floor; followed by field trips on Saturday, Nov. 16 from 8 a.m. to noon starting at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.

The goal of Teacher Speakout! is to bring the voices of rural teachers into a collaborative, public forum with researchers, legislators and rural school advocates.

“The event will bring the knowledge of our teacher partners directly to campus so our research is better informed and can respond most effectively on behalf of students in rural school districts in Wisconsin,” says WCER Director Robert Mathieu, who will deliver opening remarks. “We look forward to hearing from teachers about their successes and to learn more about how our researchers can help educators in small towns and rural schools.”

We encourage media to attend the main event, Panel Conversation with Teachers, on Friday, Nov. 15, from 10:15 to 11:45 a.m. In collaboration with Discovery Outreach, the Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers and PBS Wisconsin, rural STEM teachers from eight districts will discuss their experiences and exchange ideas about STEM education in rural Wisconsin with university faculty, researchers, policymakers and graduate students in education.

On Saturday, Nov. 16, teachers will meet at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery to embark on scientist-led field trips across campus, including stops at the School of Pharmacy to learn about nanotechnology and gene-mapping; and at the Gilroy Lab to discover the world of astrobotany.

The 19 STEM educators will be representing the following 18 school districts: Belleville, Cambria-Friesland, Cuba City, Edgar, Eleva-Strum, Elmwood, La Farge, Merrill, Mishicot, Monroe, Montello, New Holstein, North Crawford, Northwood, Pecatonica, Sauk Prairie, Three Lakes and Washington Island.

Legislators representing these districts have been invited to meet informally with the teachers at 3:15 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15, to discuss rural education over delicious Babcock ice cream.