Director of the Center for Science, Mathematics & Technology Education at Colorado State University, 1991 – 1998.
Dr. Stein recalled always having an interest in both science and education, although he didn’t initially plan to make it a career when he enrolled for undergraduate studies at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He soon decided, however, that he wanted to teach high school physics and eventually joined the Peace Corps upon graduation. He trained regional teachers and team-taught physics with them in Spanish in Colombia, South America, before returning to the US to pursue graduate studies. Dr. Stein earned his PhD in chemical physics from Indiana University at Bloomington, and then spent many years as a professor of physical chemistry and dean of natural sciences at Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado. He also had visiting professorships at UC-Boulder, the University of New Mexico, and Amherst College.
Dr. Stein’s interest in science education reform was awakened when his children came home from school and reported that their science classes were “boring and unengaging.” Determined to make a difference, Stein found himself accepting a position as director of the Philadelphia Renaissance in Science and Mathematics program that intended to raise science and math standards for K-12 grades. “It was the equivalent of going to graduate school to learn about running foundations and dealing with big city politics,” he recalled. In that capacity, he served as project director for a comprehensive regional center for minorities, oversaw several teacher enhancement grants for science and mathematics, and helped Philadelphia become one of six sites across the country to participate in Project 2061, a nationwide effort to promote benchmark standards for science education. He moved back to Colorado in 1991 to head CSMATE, where he helped developed in-service teacher enhancement, pre-service training, and numerous student-based programs.
Dr. Stein passed away in 2004.