Teach For America Announces Multi-Year Collaboration With Biogen Idec Foundation To Boost STEM Education Programs
$5 Million Grant Supports Teacher Training and Professional Development, Student Lab Experiences, and Recruitment
Teach For America today announced the Biogen Idec Foundation has committed to a five-year, $5 million grant to provide recruitment, training, and professional development opportunities to its corps of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) teachers, as well as high-quality STEM educational opportunities for students in under-resourced communities.
The goal of the collaboration is to help address the disparity of access to high-quality STEM education which persists in many communities across the United States. STEM teaching positions in low-income communities are among the hardest to fill and limited STEM education opportunities can contribute to decreased academic and career options for students and restrict diversity in professional STEM fields.
With support from the Biogen Idec Foundation, Teach for America will provide customized training opportunities for STEM teachers, including the ability to engage with Biogen Idec employees at Biogen Idec’s Community Labs in Massachusetts and North Carolina. Students also will have opportunities for hands-on learning visits to the Biogen Idec Community Labs throughout the school year. Finally, a portion of the grant will support Teach For America’s national recruitment efforts of college graduates and professionals.
“We’re grateful that the Biogen Idec Foundation is committed to ensuring that all students have access to a transformational P-12 STEM education that will prepare them for success in college, career, and beyond,” said Dr. Joseph Wilson, managing director of Teach For America’s STEM Initiative. “Since 2012, Biogen Idec Foundation’s support has allowed us to increase the number of STEM teachers available in high-need schools and enhance the professional development opportunities available to them. In the next five years we look forward to bolstering efforts in Massachusetts and Eastern North Carolina, and expanding the best practices we’ve learned to help provide students nationwide with dedicated and inspiring STEM teachers and opportunities.”
Teach For America launched its dedicated STEM initiative in 2006 in an effort to bring more passionate and effective STEM individuals into classrooms and expand opportunities for students. Seven years later, the organization’s STEM corps has grown by over 250 percent, impacting 1.5 million students nationwide. One-third of corps members currently teach a STEM subject.
“The Biogen Idec Foundation is committed to giving students access to science programming that will prepare them for success in STEM fields and support initiatives that bring science to life,” said Tony Kingsley, chairman of Biogen Idec Foundation. “We care deeply about strengthening and supporting the communities in which we operate, and our continued partnership with Teach For America allows us to do that in a way that supports hands-on training for students and contributes to enhancing the skills of teachers.”
Currently, more than 500 first- and second- year corps members teach across Massachusetts and Eastern North Carolina in collaboration with over 20 districts, impacting more than 30,000 students.
Biogen Idec Foundation and Teach For America’s STEM Celebration Event
The Biogen Idec Foundation and Teach For America will host a STEM celebration event today, November 10, 2014, from 5:30-8:00pm at Biogen Idec’s Community Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The event will bring together STEM experts, professionals, and undergraduates to explore why teaching is a critical and viable STEM career.
About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity. This fall, 10,600 corps members will be teaching in 50 urban and rural regions across the country while more than 37,000 alumni work across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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