FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 08.08.11
Lauren Espin, for Siemens Foundation
Christina Scripps, Discovery Education
SIEMENS FOUNDATION AND DISCOVERY EDUCATION PROVIDED 70 EDUCATORS EXCLUSIVE STEM-FOCUSED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT THIS SUMMER
-- Selected educators worked with nation`s top scientists, government officials and esteemed educational thought leaders in summer learning programs --
ISELIN, N.J., August 8, 2011– The Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education, along with their partners, Oak Ridge Associated Universities and the College Board, announced the successful completion of their second annual Siemens Teachers as Researchers (STARs) program and Siemens STEM Institute. Designed to advance science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in the U.S., these programs are part of the Siemens STEM Academy, a national professional development program.
Currently in its second year, the Siemens STEM Academy connects educators with the tools and best practices they need to inspire today’s students to pursue STEM education. Initially launched in response to President Obama’s call to action to improve science literacy among American students, the Siemens STEM Academy engages educators from across the country through hands-on, multimedia professional development opportunities, providing them real-world applications of STEM to share with their students.
Siemens STARs Program
Last month, 20 middle and high school STEM educators were chosen from over 200 applicants across the country to participate in the exclusive STARs program. The chosen Fellows spent two weeks at the U.S Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Oak Ridge, Tenn., collaborating with some of the nation’s leading scientists to conduct individually-designed research projects on topics such as nanofabrication and materials chemistry. In addition to the hands-on learning experience, 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 at Discovery Education’s global headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., took place from July 31st to August 5th. During this time, 50 select teachers met and worked with expert scientists and esteemed educational thought leaders, such as Dr. Carl Wiemen, Associate Director for Science, White House Office of Science & Technology, to discuss opportunities for teachers on the ‘frontline’ to make a positive impact on STEM education in the U.S. Institute Fellows engaged in discussions and workshops around key topics, including using technology and social media in the classroom to engaging 21st century students and improving their STEM achievement level.
To prolong their professional development after the conclusion of the Institute, participating teachers formed small groups and will continue researching a STEM issue of their choice throughout the year such as wind turbine technology and antibacterial properties of local plants. The results of the groups’ research will be presented at the end of the 2011-2012 school year during a webinar broadcast live on the Siemens STEM Academy website. Their work will also be made available in the resources section of the Siemens STEM Academy website for other teachers to access and leverage in their classroom.
“Our goal with the STARs and the Siemens STEM Institute programs is to provide experiences that leave our country’s top science, technology, engineering and mathematics educators better prepared to motivate their students,” said Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, president of the Siemens Foundation. “With these impactful summer programs, we empower and energize these already talented teachers with new skills, contacts and resources to influence and inspire our country’s next generation of scientists.”
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.
Later this fall, teachers throughout the U.S. can apply for the 2012 STARs program or the 2012 STEM Institute by visiting www.siemensstemacademy.com.
About the Siemens STEM Academy
The Siemens STEM Academy (www.siemensstemacademy.com) is a collaborative effort of the Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education, Oak Ridge Associated Universities and the College Board to empower and celebrate excellence in science, technology, engineering and math education. As the premier online professional development community for STEM educators, over 125,000 teachers from across the United States exchange and download resources, participate in and view webinars, obtain up-to-date STEM news and network with their peers. Additionally, each year the STEM Academy selects top educators from around the country to participate in the Siemens Teachers as Researchers (STARs) program, a two-week professional development program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the Siemens STEM Institute, a one-week professional development initiative at Discovery Communications headquarters in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit 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 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.