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Ann Arbor – Boosting student engagement in science, technology, engineering and math classrooms is the aim of a federal grant going to the University of Michigan and other schools.

The Ann Arbor university says it’s the lead institution on the project fueled by a $1.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Researchers aim to launch and spread what’s called “active learning,” which gets students talking to each other and working together to solve a particular problem.

Officials say it’s an effective but rarely used technique because professors think it will backfire. The project is designed to measure how well professors improve student engagement.

The effort includes creating workshops to help STEM faculty across the U.S. use active learning.

Other schools involved are the University of Texas, University of Oregon and Bucknell University.

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