Social studies chair receives grant to promote STEM


Social Studies Chair, David Herring

David Herring, social studies chair at Orono High School, was one of eight people awarded a grant to attend the Midwest Political Science Association’s annual convention in Chicago, Ill. This event is the world’s largest political science convention, and was held at the historic Palmer House Hotel.

The event was a four-day conference in which the attendees had myriad opportunities to learn from presenters, panels, displays and the book room. The main session was on Friday, April 12, at 4:35 p.m. Following this session, the eight fellowship recipients were feted with a celebratory meal at a fine Italian restaurant.

“It was a wonderful experience,” Herring said. “There are worse things in the world than three nights at the Palmer House, and literally thousands of opportunities to learn more about politics and government, in the U.S. and around the world.”

The National Science Foundation donated money to the program to promote the educational initiative of STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Within that foundation is a branch to promote STEM applications in Political Science classrooms, called Political Science and Methodology, Measurement and Statistics Programs. The committee is led by Dr. Box-Steffensmeier from Ohio State, called the Motivating Politics program. Herring applied for the grant through this committee.

Each of the participants received $2,000 for costs of the event. The funding was provided by the National Science Foundations, specifically the Political Science and Methodology, Measurement and Statistics Programs.

This opportunity will not only benefit Herring, but his connections to 18 other CIS teachers throughout Minnesota high schools and even some professors at the University of Minnesota. Herring will also share his knowledge with colleagues who teach freshmen civics. This way, the lessons learned would be reinforced three years later back to Herring in his senior Political Science class.

“I am in a position to assist the application of this learning down to ninth graders, and up to college-level lessons,” Herring said in his grant application letter.

Herring noted that the downtown attractions, including famous Chicago landmarks, great food and, of course, Blues music added to the fun. “I’d go back to that conference any time,” he said.

Congratulations to Mr. Herring for winning this prestigious grant.

Taylor Peterson is the Editor in Chief – Print for The Spartan Speaks.

Social Studies Chair, David Herring
Social Studies Chair, David Herring