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Mason scientist to coordinate professional development program in STEM education

Padmanabhan Seshaiyer, Professor, Mathematical Sciences; Director, Center for Outreach in Mathematics Professional Learning & Educational Technology (COMPLETE), is currently serving as co-investigator on the project: "Asteroid Science, Technology and Exploration Research Organized by Inclusive eDucation (ASTEROID) Teacher Professional Development Program."  

As a co-investigator, Seshaiyer will help to coordinate the teacher professional development program for the project. This program will consist of research-focused, project-based learning opportunities for teachers in planetary and space science, aerospace and computer engineering, space technology, and STEM education. He will also engage in additional leadership training for the graduate students while simultaneously offering the teachers the content and technical expertise of the graduate students during the workshop and throughout the following year as needed. 

For ASTEROID, Seshaiyer will work closely with the Principal Investigator and other Co-Investigators at the University of Arizona to help deliver the professional development content to teachers in the summer and conduct follow-up studies on how the teachers have been able to enhance their pedagogical practices on the various components of the NASA project and how they have been able to impact many more students through integrated lesson plans created as a part of the project with NASA-based activities. He will also be able to build on the effective practices from his work in STEM education and the COMPLETE center to help establish the teacher professional development for the MIRO project at the University of Arizona.  

Seshaiyer serves as the Director of the COMPLETE center, which was created in 2009 with a mission to promote excellence in mathematics teaching, learning, and collaborative mentoring in Northern Virginia through innovative solution-oriented initiatives and technology integration with emphasis on research and education. The center provides a collaborative network that brings together a consortium of school district leaders, faculty, students, national experts, nonprofit organizations, and business partners with a mission to promote excellence in mathematics teaching, learning, and collaborative mentoring in Northern Virginia. 

The subaward from the University of Arizona to Seshaiyer is in the amount of $71,047 for the period of performance, which will be September 1, 2023 through – August 31, 2024.