New York Times Highlights NCTL Curriculum, Sales Double
September 28, 2010
For a front page June 14, 2010, New York Times story, headlined "Studying Engineering Before They Can Spell It," reporter Winnie Hu highlighted the NCTL's Engineering is Elementary (EiE) elementary school curriculum and interviewed its director, Museum of Science vice president Christine Cunningham. The story detailed efforts of school districts nationwide to include engineering lessons for the youngest students and quoted Cunningham: "We still hear all the time that little kids can't engineer. We say they're born engineersthey naturally want to solve problems."
As a result of the story, the numbers of EiE educational materials sold more than doubled from 2,476 to 5,284 from May to June 2010, while the number of EIE website homepage hits on June 14 spiked at 10,034. The curriculum has reached over 20,000 teachers and over 1.18 students nationwide since 2004.
"The reference to Engineering is Elementary in The New York Times resulted in a spectacular boost in contacts and sales," says Cunningham. "People from around the country (and world) who were interested in engaging in engineering education were pleased to learn of our efforts and many now intend to use EiE materials."
The article also mentioned that Congress was considering legislation, endorsed by more than 100 businesses and organizations like I.B.M. and Lockheed Martin, to promote K-12 engineering education. The NCTL crafted and built support for the bill -- the first Engineering Education for Innovation Act, introduced by New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and House Representative Paul Tonko in February 2010.
Patti Curtis in the NCTL's Washington office says both Senator Gillibrand and Rep. Tonko cited the Times piece in letters/email urging every member of the US Senate and House of Representatives to support the bill. S. 3043 and H.R. 4709 authorize the Secretary of Education to competitively award planning and implementation grants for states to integrate engineering education into K-12 curriculum and instruction to:
--Spark student interest in engineering through comprehensive K-12 engineering education including hands-on design and engineering components;
--Increase the availability of K-12 engineering education curricular and teacher professional development programs;
--Encourage broader participation of girls and underrepresented minorities in K-12 engineering education.