Valley City State University technology education Professor and Great Plains STEM Education Center director Donald Mugan is retiring June 15 after 39 years as a teacher and administrator at VCSU, he said Friday.
STEM stands for Science Technology Engineering Mathematics.
It is a new way of looking at science and math education to make the disciplines more attractive to the current generation of students.
As center director, Mugan saw himself as an evangelist in transforming math, science, engineering and technology education into a form that attracts students.
It centers on re-educating teachers so they do a better job reaching students, and teaching students in a way that will hold their interest.
Traditionally, Mugan said, math and science were taught abstractly and independently.
Using the STEM concept students are taught with practical projects requiring students to use all four disciplines to solve real world problems.
In an interview last year, Mugan said he saw his job as educating teachers, students and eventually the public.
Many high tech businesses including Microsoft and Intel are already strong supporters of STEM.
Attracting new and established high-tech businesses to Valley City will provide a workplace for students being taught STEM.
The North Dakota Board of Higher Education is a strong supporter of the STEM concept, Mugan said.
An in-depth story on Mugan’s retirement will appear in an issue of next week’s Times-Record.