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Morgridge Awarded Grant to Launch Center for the Advancement of Early STEM Education

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University of Denver

Announcement  •
Morgridge College of Education

The University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education, in collaboration with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been awarded a new grant focused on advancing STEM in early childhood, including how to increase access and participation for young children with disabilities. Doug Clements and Julie Sarama, co-directors of the University’s Marsico Institute, will be co-principal investigators on the grant aimed at launching the Center for the Advancement of Early STEM Education (CAESE).

“From the first years of life, all children enjoy and benefit from learning STEM, and we have learned a lot about how to support their learning,” said Clements. “However, we know less about how to support children with disabilities, and STEM is just as important and enjoyable for them. This center will bring together a superb team, with experts in STEM and teaching children with disabilities, who will fill this gap with research and development. This work will have national importance.”

In partnership with UNC’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG), the new center will increase the body of knowledge of current evidence-based practices for early STEM learning, including early computer science learning for children with disabilities. The five-year, $7,250,000 award is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs.

“We are delighted to have Doug Clements and Julie Sarama from the University of Denver to collaborate with us on this center,” said FPG’s Chih-Ing Lim, co-director of CAESE. “Doug and Julie are internationally renowned early math and STEM experts, and we are really thrilled to have the opportunity to work together with them to ensure children with disabilities can participate and benefit from high-quality STEM teaching and learning in their homes and across their communities.”

Joining the collaboration between DU’s Marsico Institute and UNC’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute are Janice Anderson from UNC’s school of education and Philippa Campbell from the Public Health Management Corporation. CAESE will also bring together consultants and advisors that include families of children with disabilities, various organizations and multiple industry experts.

For more information about Morgridge College of Education and the Marsico Institute, please visit