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March 19, 2001


DALLAS (SMU) -- Charles Lovas, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Southern Methodist University, has been invited to brief members of several congressional committees about a program he has been involved with that is helping improve science, math, engineering and technology education for middle school students in North Texas.

The briefing for members of the House Education Committee, the House Science Committee and the Senate Education Committee will be held April 4 in the Rayburn House Office Building.

Lovas will share with committee members and their staffs his experience in implementing the nationally acclaimed program called "A World in Motion" to more than 3,000 middle school students in Dallas, Denton, Garland, Irving, Lewisville, Richardson and Southlake.

Although more than 1.9 million students nationwide in grades 4-8 have participated in "A World In Motion," which was developed by the Society for Automotive Engineers, the Dallas area is the only place where there has been a concerted effort to train and support the teachers who implement the program.

Funding to implement the "A World in Motion" program in North Texas has come from the Dallas-based Institute for Diversity in Engineering and Society (IDEAS), of which Lovas is a founding board member. SMU's School of Engineering has partnered with IDEAS to help implement the program.

The 107th Congress is currently debating a proposal by President Bush to create a new math and science partnership program that would provide funds for states to join with institutions of higher education in strengthening K-12 math and science education.

"I would like to encourage more engineering schools to partner with public schools to provide teachers with better education to help train students in science, math and technology," Lovas said.

Joining Lovas at the briefing will be Ioannis Miaoulis, dean of engineering at Tufts University in Massachusetts. Miaoulis has been instrumental in helping develop a new curriculum for teaching science and technology to all students in Massachusetts. Massachusetts recently became the first state to require that an engineering component be taught in all levels of its public schools.

An expert in engineering design, Lovas has been a member of the SMU faculty since 1977. He received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Akron and his master's degree and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Notre Dame.