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Lauren Espin, for Siemens Foundation

Christina Scripps, for Discovery Communications

– New Professional Development Program Added To 2012 STEM Academy Offers Immersive Research Opportunity to 20 Additional Educators –

– Now Accepting Applications Online for Siemens STARs and Institute Programs –

ISELIN, N.J., Dec. 15, 2011– The Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education, along with their partners Oak Ridge Associated Universities and the College Board, announced they will expand Siemens Teachers as Researchers (STARs) for 2012 to include program sites at both Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Oak Ridge, TN and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, WA. Prompted by the resounding success of the program’s first two years at ORNL, this expansion will double the number of opportunities for educators from across the country to collaborate with some of the nation’s leading scientists over the summer. The STARs program is part of the Siemens STEM Academy, a national professional development community designed to advance the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the United States.

“After seeing the incredible impact the STARs program has had and the growing number of strong applications we receive, we knew it was essential that we continue to grow the program,” said Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, president of the Siemens Foundation. “This expansion will open opportunities to more worthy applicants, benefitting the educators, their colleagues, their students and generations of scientists and engineers to come.”

The expansion to two STARs programs in 2012 will empower even more teachers to bring the excitement of authentic research into the classroom and inspire students to pursue STEM education. Working in small groups, 40 teachers will collaborate with scientific teams from world-renowned labs to conduct individually designed research projects that will give them real-world experience to bring back to their classrooms. The ORNL STARs program includes projects on a wide range of topics, including energy, advanced materials, biological systems, and neutron sciences. The second STARs program at PNNL will feature STEM topics, such as sustainable energy and environmental molecular science.

The 2012 STARs programs will take place June 17 – June 29, 2012, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and July 8 – July 20, 2012, at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. In addition to the two-week, hands-on learning experience, each teacher will also receive a $300 mini-grant to purchase equipment and supplies for his or her classroom and a $500 stipend.

Another professional development opportunity for educators nationwide, the Siemens STEM Academy also offers the Siemens STEM Institute, a one-of-a-kind, weeklong immersion program that promotes hands-on, real-world integration of STEM in the classroom. From July 29 – August 3, 2012, a diverse group of 50 middle and high school educators from across the country will attend an intensive week-long, professional development experience at the global headquarters of Discovery Communications located just outside of Washington D.C. The Fellows will be exposed to leading scientists, thought leaders, personalities and innovators whose work across STEM disciplines shape and define our world today.

The call for applications for the STEM Academy programs is now open through February 9, 2012. Teachers throughout the country can apply for the 2012 STARs programs or the Siemens STEM Institute by visiting

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 Siemens Teachers as Researchers (STARs) programs, two-week professional development experiences at 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, 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

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