College of Science & Engineering


SMATE is a national model for the preparation and support of K-12 teachers.

Our dedicated faculty from the disciplines of Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Earth Science, Computer Science, Elementary Education and Secondary Education use the latest resources and research on teaching and learning to develop innovative curriculum, courses and K-16 partnerships.

Our mission is to be a national model of effective recruiting and preparation of the highest quality future elementary and secondary mathematics and science teachers. We will participate in research and dissemination of new knowledge in mathematics and science education reform to the university and K-12 communities, and serve as a valuable resource to the university and broader community to improve mathematics and science teaching and learning.


Become a STEM teacher.  Click this link to learn more


News and Events

SMATE Welcomes Visiting Scholar!

photo of Dr. Akarat Tanak

Through a cooperative agreement between Western and Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand, we are thrilled to welcome visiting scholar Dr. Akarat Tanak to SMATE.

Dr. Tanak is an Assistant Professor in Faculty of Education at KU. She graduated B.Sc. (Chemistry) and Ph.D. (Science Education) from Kasetsart University through a prestigious fellowship from the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST). At KU, she has been teaching science methods courses at the elementary level, and scientific thinking courses for undergraduate students, as well as a science instructional media and innovation course for Masters students. Her research interests are scientific thinking, scientific inquiry, context-based learning, elementary education, technology pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK). During her visit through March 2020, she will be collaborating with SMATE faculty including Dr. Deborah Hanuscin. She is joined in Bellingham by her husband, Dr. Suppalerk Tanak, who is a visiting scholar in Woodring, and their two daughters.