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Business school taps science ed. professor as Entrepreneurship Fellow



Griff Jones1

Griff Jones, clinical associate professor of science education

Griff Jones, a clinical associate professor of science education at the University of Florida College of Education, has been selected as an Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellow by the UF Warrington College of Business Administration’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Jones, who serves as director and principal investigator for the Florida STEM Teacher Induction and Professional Support (STEM TIPS) initiative, received the honor based on his proposal to expand the scope of STEM TIPS, which he began developing two years ago after receiving a $2.3 million grant from the Florida Department of Education.

The innovative program addresses the challenges of retaining beginning math and science teachers in grades 6-12 through use of an online, mobile-ready coaching and professional development platform. Implementation and field-testing is under way in several Florida school districts, including Duval, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, as well as 15 districts comprising the Northeast Florida Educational Consortium.

Funding for the initial platform has run out, but as an Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellow, Jones will be able to continue its development by adding a viable, self-sustaining business plan created through a subscription-based model to ensure sustainability and continuous improvement of the STEM TIPS program.

“I’d like to expand the scale of our model to assist institutions and organizations across the nation in their efforts to prepare highly qualified and passionate STEM teachers for K-12 schools,” Jones said. “And I’d like to provide ongoing support to new teachers that will enhance their professional development and keep them in the classroom.”

Jones received his Ph.D. and M.Ed. degrees in science education from UF after earning a bachelor’s degree in biology from Florida Southern College. He taught science at P.K. Yonge, UF’s K-12 developmental research school in Gainesville, for 20 years before becoming a full-time COE faculty member in 2007.

Jones specializes in designing effective, inquiry-based interdisciplinary science programs, and has authored several highly successful and nationally disseminated science textbooks, curriculum guides, online-course materials and science lab teaching materials.

He has collaborated with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to develop several award-winning educational films focusing on STEM applications in analyzing car crashes that are used by thousands of teachers throughout the U.S. He also has received statewide and national recognition for his efforts as a K-adult science educator, including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching awarded by the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Sciences, and The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.