MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

December 9, 2017  

EIC provides valuable resources for school children and teachers

Mayville State University is currently in the seventh year of its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) initiative, and has begun a new level of innovation in education by joining forces with the Mayville Area Teacher Center to form the Education and Innovation Center (EIC). These two entities have become one, geared to enhance STE(A)M instruction by working with P-16 teachers, Mayville State teacher candidates, parents, and community members to prepare all students for success in the 21st century.

The EIC is an educational resource located in the basement of the Byrnes-Quanbeck Library at Mayville State. The mission of the EIC is that of assisting practicing teachers, teacher candidates, and other educational personnel in professional knowledge and skill development to improve the learning of students.

The EIC holds educational resources in all content areas used by students majoring in education, area school teachers, and community members. The EIC also offers opportunities for professional development in a variety of educational topics for area teachers, teacher candidates, and community members, often in conjunction with other educational agencies.

The goals of the EIC are:

  • Enhance MSU’s Pre-K, elementary, and secondary teacher education curriculum in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and the arts (including language arts and design).
  • Increase the number of area P-16 teachers and teacher education candidates that teach STE(A)M concepts in the classroom.
  • Increase awareness and excitement for innovation in students, teachers, and community members by providing professional development and awareness activities.

The EIC offers many opportunities for the folks that are served. They include 300 curriculum supplement kits that are made available to area schools, community members, and schools across the state of North Dakota. A STEM carnival is hosted for area children of all ages in the spring of the year. In partnership with the MSU teacher education program, MSU teacher education candidates complete a one-week summer practicum experience where they lead STEM-focused classrooms for children entering kindergarten through third grade. The STARLAB portable planetarium makes visits to area classrooms. In addition, the EIC supports a regional day of professional development for K-12 teachers in January each year, as well as numerous opportunities for professional development throughout the year. There is also a nature trail/Rainbow Garden field experience with area school kids.

We’re very excited about hosting the first annual MSU EIC FLL (First Lego League) regional qualifier competition on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. Ten teams of students ages 9 through 12 will compete with Hydro-Dynamics missions pertaining to STEM involving water exploration. The students will display projects, share their core values and robot design in a series of competitions. The robots and mission pieces are created from Legos. The students will follow a set of guidelines, using their problem-solving skills. The overall championship team will advance to the state competition. The EIC is collaborating with the Division of Mathematics and Mayville State students to organize the event, with support from Mayville State University and the University of North Dakota School of Mines. The public is invited to attend. More information will be available in the next few weeks.

We are happy to provide the valuable resources offered through the EIC to area school children, their teachers, and the general public. We feel this is an important way for us to touch the future in a positive way. Andi Dulski-Bucholz is director of the EIC. Donalee Strand coordinates the activities of the EIC. We are grateful to both of them for the great work they are doing.

For more information about the EIC or the upcoming Lego League competition, feel free to contact Donalee at 701-788-4718 or Learn about all the opportunities offered through the EIC at