Clontz Awarded NSF Grant to Expand Educational Resources in STEM Classrooms
Posted on February 24, 2023 by Marcomm
Dr. Steven Clontz, associate professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of South Alabama, was awarded a $267,268 grant from the National Science Foundation. Clontz’s project aims to make textbooks and scholarly documents freely available to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) classrooms nationwide.
Clontz’s project, titled “POSE: Phase I: An Open-Source Ecosystem for the Creation and Use of Accessible STEM Open Education Resources,” is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Pathways to Enable Open-Source Ecosystems Program. The program is the foundation’s newest directorate in three decades and seeks to use open-source development to create new technological solutions to benefit both the nation and society.
“This project places a strong emphasis on accessibility, particularly the automated production of both interactive and braille documents from a single source, and supporting students as well as researchers,” Clontz said.
By creating an open-source ecosystem, this project brings together two existing open-source software products: PreTeXt and Runestone. Scholars use the PreTeXt language to author accessible and interactive textbooks and documents for STEM classrooms, and host these works on the Runestone learning engineering analytics portal to make data-driven decisions that can improve classroom instruction and educational research.
“We’re trying to get everyone who can to contribute in order to create a community of free open-source textbooks,” Clontz said. “It’s a very unique project for the National Science Foundation to take on because rather than creating new educational research, we are giving scholars the tools to translate existing research into free and open-source resources that go directly into the hands of students and teachers, while simultaneously building cyberinfrastructure that will enable the next generation of educational research.”
To get involved in the PreTeXt-Runestone Open Source Ecosystem, visit https://prose.runestone.academy to learn about the project’s weekly Zoom drop-in sessions open to everyone engaged in STEM open educational resources, or email Clontz at email@example.com to learn more.