Siemens Foundation in Conjunction with Discovery Education Concludes Two Elite STEM Professional Development Programs Empowering Educators Nationwide
* Selected educators worked with nation’s top scientists, government officials, and esteemed educational thought leaders in summer learning programs
* Partners include Oak Ridge Associated Universities and the College Board
(Iselin, N.J.) The Siemens Foundation, along with Discovery Education, Oak Ridge Associated Universities and the College Board, successfully completed the first annual Siemens Teachers as Researchers (STARs) program and the Siemens STEM Institute. These programs, as part of the Siemens STEM Academy, engage educators from across the country through hands-on professional development opportunities.
The Siemens STEM Academy is a national professional development program designed to advance science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in the U.S. Created by the Siemens Foundation in conjunction with Discovery Education, Oak Ridge Associated Universities and the College Board, this program connects educators with tools and best practices to inspire today’s students.
Siemens STARs Program
Last month, 20 middle and high school educators from across the country participated in the STARs program. Teachers spent two weeks at the U.S Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn. working with some of the nation’s top scientists. From June 20th to July 2nd, teachers worked in mentored teams to conduct research on topics such as renewable resources, energy efficiency, superconductivity, and material sciences. In addition, each teacher received a $500 mini-grant to purchase equipment and supplies for his or her classroom.
Siemens STEM Institute
The Siemens STEM Institute, a week-long professional development experience hosted by Discovery Education in its Silver Spring, Md. global headquarters, took place from August 1st to August 6th. During this time, 50 selected teachers met and worked with government officials, including Dr. John Holdren, Advisor to President Obama for Science and Technology, leading scientists, and esteemed educational thought leaders whose work across STEM disciplines shapes and defines today’s education landscape. Teachers engaged in discussions and workshops around key topics such as using technology and social media in the classroom to improve student achievement.
At the close of the Institute, participating teachers formed small groups and began working on STEM-related projects on topics such as energy and biodiversity. They will continue to work on these projects during the coming school year and next spring, they will present their final projects during a live webinar. Their work will be published in the resources section of the Siemens STEM Academy website, where other teachers can access this information and utilize it in their classroom.
“The STARs program and the STEM Institute reinforce the Siemens Foundation’s commitment to excellence in STEM education,” said Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, president of the Siemens Foundation. “Through these new programs, we were able to provide some of the best educators in the country with a unique opportunity and we are confident that they will now go back to their classrooms empowered with new skills to motivate the next generation of scientific innovators.”
In addition to the professional development programs, the Siemens STEM Academy also offers a national portal and online community designed to foster STEM achievement by providing educators with a dedicated resource to collaborate, exchange and connect about all things related to STEM education by utilizing the latest digital learning and collaborative tools.
Early next year, teachers throughout the U.S. can apply for the 2011 STARs program or the 2011 STEM Institute by visiting www.siemensstemacademy.com.
About the Siemens Foundation
The Siemens Foundation provides more than $7 million annually in support of educational initiatives in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the United States. Its signature programs include the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement, and The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, which encourages K-12 students to develop innovative green solutions for environmental issues. In February 2010 the Siemens Foundation launched its newest initiative, The Siemens STEM Academy, a national STEM education program for teachers designed to support educators in their efforts to foster student achievement in these fields. By supporting outstanding students today, and recognizing the teachers and schools that inspire their excellence, the Foundation helps nurture tomorrow’s scientists and engineers. The Foundation’s mission is based on the culture of innovation, research and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens’ U.S. companies and its parent company, Siemens AG. For further information, visit www.siemens-foundation.org.
About Oak Ridge Associated Universities
Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) is a university consortium leveraging the scientific strength of 97 major research institutions to advance science and education by partnering with national laboratories, government agencies, and private industry. ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education for the U.S. Department of Energy.
About Discovery Education
Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) revolutionized television with Discovery Channel and is now transforming classrooms through Discovery Education. Powered by the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education combines scientifically proven, standards-based digital media and a dynamic user community in order to empower teachers to improve student achievement. Already, more than half of all U.S. schools access Discovery Education digital services. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.
About the College Board
The College Board is a not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board is composed of more than 5,700 schools, colleges, universities and other educational organizations. Each year, the College Board serves seven million students and their parents, 23,000 high schools, and 3,800 colleges through major programs and services in college readiness, college admission, guidance, assessment, financial aid and enrollment. Among its widely recognized programs are the SAT®, the PSAT/NMSQT®, the Advanced Placement Program®(AP®), SpringBoard® and ACCUPLACER®. The College Board is committed to the principles of excellence and equity, and that commitment is embodied in all of its programs, services, activities and concerns. For further information, visit www.collegeboard.com.
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