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Chanika Colbert, Siemens Foundation

Lyndsey Grubbs, Discovery Communications

— Educators rewarded with exclusive opportunity to meet with some of the country’s top scientists, government officials and thought leaders to better integrate STEM principles into classrooms —

ISELIN, N.J., August 13, 2013 – A select group of educators will return to their classrooms this fall better equipped to integrate real-world science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts into their classroom instruction after participating in the Siemens STEM Academy, an innovative professional development program sponsored by the Siemens Foundation and administered by Discovery Education in association with Oak Ridge Associated Universities and the College Board.

Last week, 50 select teachers from across the country took part in the exclusive Siemens STEM Institute, a fellowship designed to teach educators how to better integrate STEM disciplines into their classrooms. The fellowship provided participants with one-of-a-kind field trips, networking opportunities and access to 21st century digital tools. Earlier this summer, another group of 40 teachers participated in research projects at one of two Department of Energy national laboratories in Oak Ridge, Tenn. and Richland, Wash., through the innovative Siemens Teachers as Researchers (STARs) fellowship, which matches educators with some of the country’s brightest scientific minds to collaborate in conducting authentic research.

“As a participant in this summer’s STARs program, I wholeheartedly believe that the STEM Academy is invaluable not only in terms of providing authentic research methods that are easily modified for classroom application but also in terms of re-fueling the passion in educators for implementing a research-based teaching style with their students,” said Jacqueline Parsons, Chemistry and Biology teacher at Tuscarora High School in Frederick, MD. “With this experience I can take my students beyond classroom walls and standardized exams to a place where I can equip them with 21st century skills and real world experiences. Science is cool! I won't let them forget that!”

The programs are designed to turn these Fellows into ambassadors who will work in their schools and communities to advance STEM education and pass on to their peers the tools and knowledge they gained over the summer. The hope is that the teachers will bring these experiences back into their classrooms and inspire students to pursue opportunities in STEM-related fields.

Siemens STEM Institute

Now in its fourth year, the Siemens STEM Institute connects teachers with the tools and best practices they need to inspire today’s students to pursue STEM education. The week-long professional development program at the world headquarters of Discovery Communications just outside of Washington, D.C., puts teachers together with leading scientists, thought-leaders, personalities and innovators whose work across STEM disciplines shape and define the science world today. 

The STEM Fellows heard from guest speakers, including education pioneer Dr. Lodge McCammon; Senior Advisor of STEM for the Department of Education, Camsie McAdams and University of Iowa professor Dr. Joe Krajick. They had the opportunity to take field trips to leading institutions of STEM innovation and meet with practicing experts in the field including members of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, CSPAN and the Chief of Museum and Learning at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The fellowship also provided opportunities for participants to network and collaborate with peers from both urban and rural school systems across middle and high school grade levels in an effort to bring new and innovative digital tools into the classroom. The mission is that these educators will become key influencers in their schools and communities to help change the way STEM subjects are taught in American classrooms.

Siemens STARs Program

STARs is an innovative fellowship sponsored by the Siemens Foundation and administered by Discovery Education in association with Oak Ridge Associated Universities and the College Board that brings two cohorts of 20 teachers each to participate in research projects either at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn., or the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash.

This year, teachers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory studied neutron sciences, chemical sciences, biosciences and energy and transportation sciences. Those at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory studied energy consumption, metal organic frameworks, carbon dioxide injection in aquifers and microbial activity in the Columbia River.  

"These are the types of professional development programs that give our teachers the tools to inspire their students to become our country’s next generation of innovators," said Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, president of the Siemens Foundation. "Only by mastering STEM education will our students have the best chance to excel and push the envelope in areas that will help this country grow. The Siemens STEM Academy fellows are important pieces of the Siemens Foundation’s effort to improve the state of our country’s STEM education.”

The programs were offered at no cost to the 90 teachers selected out of nearly 1,000 applications.

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The application process for the 2014 STARs program and the 2014 STEM institute will open in late 2013.

About the Siemens STEM Academy

The Siemens STEM Academy ( 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 one-of-a kind Siemens Teachers as Researchers (STARs) programs, two-week prestigious professional development experiences at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. In addition, 50 educators are chosen to participate in the Siemens STEM Institute, a one-week professional development initiative at Discovery Communications headquarters in Washington, D.C.  For more information, visit

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 and The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, which encourages K-12 students to develop innovative green solutions for environmental issues. 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  

About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind.  Available in over half of all U.S. schools, community colleges and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that accelerate academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world.  Explore the future of education at