NCTL Wins Innovation Award
June 01, 2010
The Museum of Science's National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®) in Boston won the 2010 Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) Innovation Award. The Museum was one of two non-profits and six companies recognized May 13 by SBANE for their innovation, growth, stability, and impact.
The Museum of Science established the NCTL in 2004 to introduce engineering and technology to schools, science centers, and informal education organizations in every state by 2015. The NCTL advances technological literacy by helping state governments modify their educational standards and assessments, designing K-12 engineering materials, offering professional development for educators, and creating museum exhibits and programs. The Museum of Science is the country's only science museum with a comprehensive strategy and infrastructure designed to foster technological literacy in both science museums and schools nationwide.
"It's deeply gratifying to me that the Smaller Business Association of New England has decided to honor the Museum's NCTL for its innovation and impact in engineering education," says Ioannis Miaoulis, Museum president and director, NCTL founding director, and former dean of Tufts University's School of Engineering. "I'm struck that so many of the finalists' innovations involve engineering. Our mission is to inspire the next generation of innovators and to enhance knowledge of engineering and technology for people of all ages."
He recalls, "In 1995, people said we were crazy to try introducing a new discipline in schools nationwide." But in 2004, the Museum began to bring elementary engineering to eight teachers and 200 students in Massachusetts. Today the NCTL has reached over 20,000 teachers and 1.3 million students in 50 states. "I believe that engaging students in engineering will spark them to use their math and science knowledge to solve problems and fuel innovation. Equally important, we hope to inspire young adults to pursue careers in these fields," says Miaoulis.
The Museum faced impressive competition from the other finalists -- companies innovating patented compression technologies for serious vascular conditions to nonprofits transforming at-risk youth's lives. The other non-profit winner, Seeding Labs, distributes reclaimed lab equipment to scientists in 14 countries. The NCTL was the only example of innovation and dramatic growth in education.
The 45 judges, representing companies such as Raytheon IDS, Sovereign Bank, and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, narrowed the field from 162 applicants to 20 finalists to the eight winners. Past Awardees include Genzyme, iRobot, E Ink, NeuroLogica, Staples, PictureTel, Nantucket Nectars, Ben & Jerry's, and Partners in Health.
SBANE is a private non-profit association of 800 companies located throughout the six state region. For more information, see Related Link below.