STEM Programs and Projects

Collaborations with College Students and Educators

Emerson Elementary School Professional Development School (PDS)

This professional development school is focused on mathematics and the use of Smart Technologies for supporting student learning. It is a collaborative program between the UW-L SOE, UW-L Mathematics Department and the La Crosse School District. Approximately 15 pre-service elementary education teacher candidates are involved with this PDS each semester.

Type of Project: Collaborative Program
Target Audience: Elementary school students, pre-service teachers
Attendees: approximately 15 pre-service teachers
Participating School: Emerson Elementary (School district of La Crosse)
Dates of Activity: ongoing
Length of Activity: every semester
Contact: Jenni McCool,

Collaborations with Educators

"A Lot of Science": A Math-Science-Partnership Program

Geared to local teachers grades 3-10, this professional development program is a "Math-Science-Partnerships" (MSP) grant through the U.S. Department of Education and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Selected teachers participate in science workshops for 3 weekends during each academic year and for 2 weeks in the summer. The word “LOT” in the title stands for participating school districts: La Crosse, Onalaska and Tomah. For information on the goals of MSP programs:

Type of project: Workshop
Target Audience: Teachers of grades 3-10 (Primarily elementary and middle school teachers)
Attendees: 30 teachers
Activity Location: UW-La Crosse, Physics Department, Cowley Hall
Participating Schools: Several schools in La Crosse, Onalaska and Tomah districts
Dates of activity:
Year 1 (2012): February 24-25, March 23-24, April 27-28, 2012; June 18-29,
Year 2: (2012-13) October 19-20, 2012, March 1-2; April 26-27; June 17-28, 2013
Year 3: (2013-14) October 18-19, 2013; March 14-15; April 25-26; June 16-27, 2014
Length of activity: 3-year grant project, 2011-2014
Contact: Jennifer Docktor,

Wisconsin Core Mathematics Initiative (WCMI)

This three year professional development project is funded by a Department of Education Math Science Partnership Grant. The project is a collaboration between the UW-L SOE, UW-L Mathematics Department, the school districts of La Crosse and Holmen, as well as a number of districts in the Northwest region of the state. The goals of the WCMI are to develop a sustainable professional learning community (PLC) dedicated to supporting teachers in their efforts to improve core content knowledge and instructional practices. Each year, participants in the project attend two week-long summer workshops and four academic year follow-up sessions.

Type of Project: Collaborative Grant Program
Target Audience: Math educators, grades 4-8
Activity Location: UW-La Crosse & CESA #8
Participating Schools: La Crosse, Holmen & others in the northwest region of WI
Dates of Activity: June 2013-August 2015
Length of Activity: Three years
Contact: Contact: Jenni McCool,

Collaborations with Children

Girls in Science (GIS)  girls entering grades 6-8

Girls in Science encourages girls to stay in science and mathematics courses throughout middle school and high school, a time when many girls drop out of such programs. The program is held every June for academically-talented middle-school aged girls from Wisconsin and surrounding areas who are interested in science. Participants in this STEM program work with UW-La Crosse faculty, many of whom are women, in their choice of 3 challenging and engaging workshops. In addition to the science activities, the students are exposed to life on a college campus including an overnight stay in a residence hall, meals on campus and social activities with peer students, university student assistants and faculty.

For more information on this program please go to:
Faculty contact: Dr. Susan Kelly, Professor of Mathematics,

Boys Science Exploration Camp  boys entering grades 6-8

Boys Science Exploration Camp nurtures participants’ interest in the STEM fields of science and math by providing participants hands-on learning activities in an environment that is supportive, enriching and – most importantly – fun! Boys work with UW-La Crosse faculty who encourage experimentation, investigation and involvement in the fields of math and science. In addition to a wide variety of topics to explore, participants also get a taste of college life through an overnight stay in a residence hall, campus meals and social activities with peer students, university student assistants and faculty.

For more information on this program:

Girls in Science and Boys Science Exploration Camp are supported by the following partners: UW-La Crosse College of Science and Health, UW-La Crosse Continuing Education and Extension, Mississippi Valley Gifted and Talented Network and Wisconsin Center for Academically Talented Youth

Environmental Explorers  students entering grades 4-6

Environmental Explorers is co-sponsored by and held at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center (UMESC) on French Island. Participants in this STEM program explore authentic field and laboratory techniques used by scientists studying the Upper Mississippi River. These hands-on activities include observing, collecting, identifying, tracking and navigating plants and animals in the rich ecosystems of this region.

For information on this program:

All About Learning®/Building Blocks  students entering grades 1-8

In this series of 4 workshops, students in grades 1-3 and 4-8 engage in numerous age appropriate STEM activities including designing, building and modifying creations using unique All About Learning® custom kits. Through these hands-on activities, students learn and apply a variety of engineering principles. Communication and risk taking are encouraged and practiced as students work collaboratively to solve problems.

LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse our programs.

For information on this program: