Jodie Mahony Center Recognized for Efforts Promoting STEM Education

Employees at the UA Little Rock Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education have received national recognition for a project that is bringing STEM education to thousands of Arkansas students.

The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), the nation’s leading organization focused on the needs of gifted and talented children, awarded the Jodie Mahony Center employees with the 2023 Professional Learning Network Award. The award recognizes an individual, institution, or organization for planning and implementing sustained professional development on gifted education given to educators and service providers in PreK-12 or higher education.

The Jodie Mahony Center team received the award for professional development delivered to gifted education professionals and second- and third-grade teachers participating in the STEM+C2 program.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the STEM+C2 program is an evidence-based school intervention project designed to identify promising students through universal screening and provide services to gifted and talented second and third grade students, including students from underrepresented populations. 

“The project really got underway in 2019,” Robinson said. “The project is in about 20 schools, and it serves well over 1,000 children every year. This is focused on Arkansas kids, Arkansas teachers, and Arkansas schools. It engages kids and teachers, and it produces achievement and engagement outcomes for STEM learning.”  

Through professional development, STEM+C2 prepares second- and third-grade teachers in gifted, creative, and talented education with summer institutes and academic year support. The professional development equips teachers with content related to STEM disciplines, strategies to identify promising students from underrepresented groups, and a STEM+C2 toolkit with engineering design challenges and computer science explorations.

Shown here are Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education associates Christine Deitz, left, and Monica Meadows, center, receiving the award from the NAGC Professional Learning Network Chair-elect Kim Stephenson, right.