uBEATS expands STEM education to grades 6-12

by Madison Larimore, Academic Affairs | August 17, 2018

Image with caption: University of Nebraska at Omaha faculty member Neal Grandgenett, Ph.D., (far left), Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dele Davies, M.D., (second from right) and UNO faculty member Paul Barnes, Ph.D. (right), with the UNO student developers of uBEATS.

University of Nebraska at Omaha faculty member Neal Grandgenett, Ph.D., (far left), Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dele Davies, M.D., (second from right) and UNO faculty member Paul Barnes, Ph.D. (right), with the UNO student developers of uBEATS.

UNMC's nationally recognized E-Learning Program and the UNMC High School Alliance are expanding to reach up to 90,000 Nebraska students in grades 6-12 through a new collaborative project called uBEATS -- UNMC Building Excellence in Academics Through STEM.

uBEATS launch

Attend the uBEATS showcase to see the first round of modules.

  • Aug. 25
  • 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Roskens Hall, Room 402, UNO Dodge Street Campus
Learn more about uBEATS.

This innovative, interactive content was created based on the success of the High School Alliance.

"The High School Alliance is going into its ninth year, and each year, I receive countless requests from other school districts seeking to give their students access to our unique STEM curriculum. Before now, we have only been able to offer it to school districts in our area," said Heidi Kaschke, director of the High School Alliance. "uBEATS was created to make the curriculum available to other parts of the state and keep health sciences in front of students who might be interested."

The uBEATS team decided to start at the middle and high school level, because Nebraska students aren't required to learn about the human body after seventh grade. uBEATS will fill that gap by giving Nebraska teachers -- and therefore students -- the option to continually learn this vital content while meeting state standards at the same time, Kaschke said.

To accomplish this, UNMC E-Learning and the High School Alliance joined forces with the University of Nebraska at Omaha's College of Education to build the uBEATS E-Learning modules. Faculty provide curriculum guidance and UNO students apply their digital aptitude and skills.

"My STEM colleagues and I at UNO are excited to join our UNMC colleagues in the uBEATS program," said Neal Grandgenett, Ph.D., community chair of STEM education at UNO's College of Education. "This is a great opportunity for UNO students to gain team-based experience in STEM curriculum development that is particularly aligned with state and national science standards, as well as be a part of outstanding e-learning development innovation."

Peggy Moore, UNMC director of E-Learning, credits this new program's success to its collaborative efforts.

"With uBEATS, we've taken an innovative program at UNMC and incorporated the education and STEM expertise of UNO students and faculty," she said. "It's an excellent example of maximizing resources across the colleges to increase our impact and build something truly valuable, and we hope it will be the new norm."

uBEATS E-Learning modules will be available at no cost to Nebraska teachers or students. They are designed to give teachers the freedom to choose and assign curriculum as they see fit and will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, wherever there is an internet connection.

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