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FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science Develops Curriculum for ‘Growing STEM’ Magnet Schools

BOCA RATON, FL (February 9, 2012) –   Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science has been chosen to assist Broward County Public Schools to design and develop a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum suited for middle school students. Broward County Public Schools recently was awarded a grant from the United States Department of Education through the Office of Innovation for a project titled “Growing STEM,”  to help increase student achievement and create interest in STEM disciplines at the post-secondary level, as well as in a variety of STEM-related careers. This partnership also highlights FAU’s Community Engagement initiative.

“STEM programs have become a national priority and we are honored to have the opportunity to help local schools raise awareness and interest in science and technology with their students, while helping our graduate students gain practical knowledge and be a resource for teachers,” said Mohammad Ilyas, Ph.D., interim dean of FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. “We look forward to a long term partnership with the Broward County School District and an extended outreach to the community.”

The new curriculum is based on modules that include various captivating, rigorous, real-world and applied hands-on engineering activities and mini-projects. Background information and lesson outlines are provided to the teachers, with fun and inquiry based activities that challenge the students to use critical thinking and problem solving skills.

The modules cover areas such as civil engineering, biomedical/bioengineering, as well as mechanical and environmental engineering. The developed modules are expected to be implemented in the participating schools – Apollo, McNicol, Parkway, Lauderhill, Margate and Silver Lakes – by March 2012.

“The ‘Growing STEM’ program is an exciting new addition to magnet program options for students in Broward County.  The partnership with FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science will focus on developing high rigor STEM curriculum,” said Leona A. Miracola, innovative programs director of Broward County Public Schools. “In addition, the STEM curriculum will prepare students for post-secondary education opportunities and prepare them for the 21st Century workplace.  We are so delighted to collaborate with FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science faculty and staff on the ‘Growing STEM’ magnet program.”

Along with Miracola, Tracy Truppman, district magnet schools assistant program coordinator of STEM from the Broward County Schools, also oversaw development of the project. Ali Zilouchian, Ph.D., associate dean for the academic affairs in the FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science, coordinated the development of the modules with the participation of FAU faculty members Javad Hashemi, Ph.D., Amir Abtahi, Ph.D. and Edgar An, Ph.D. from the Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering; Mirjana Pavlovic, Ph.D., and Zvi Roth, Ph.D., from the Department of Computer & Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; and Daniel Meeroff, Ph.D., from the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatics Engineering. 

For more information, visit the Broward County Public schools website at


About FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science:
Florida Atlantic University's College of Engineering and Computer Science is committed to providing accessible and responsive programs of education and research recognized nationally for their high quality. Course offerings are presented on-campus, off-campus, and through distance learning in bioengineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, geomatics engineering, mechanical engineering and ocean engineering.  For more information about the college, please visit

Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit

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