Raytheon Gift to Museum of Science to Create Hundreds of Elementary Engineering Teachers Nationwide
October 12, 2011
Raytheon Company has committed $1 million to the Museum of Science, Boston to dramatically expand the reach of its successful 20-unit Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®) curriculum. The Raytheon EiE Teacher Professional Development Program will create 300 professional development providers certified to educate teachers in the curriculum nationwide. As a Museum Premier Partner, the Waltham, Mass.-based technology company will help establish three new partner sites in Washington, D.C., Phoenix, Ariz., and Huntsville, Ala., that will spearhead delivery of EiE professional development (PD) to local teachers.
A project of the Museum's National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®), EiE began in 2003 and has grown into the nation's largest elementary engineering curriculum. EiE is the first such program to focus on engineering and technology, reinforce science concepts, and collect data on both student and teacher learning. The curriculum has now reached more than 27,000 teachers and 2.5 million students in 50 states. In response to a soaring demand for teacher PD workshops, the Museum is building a network of teacher-educators, based on a train-the-trainer model. Certified through Teacher Educator Institutes to ensure quality, these teachers can lead PD workshops for other teachers in the EiE curriculum and philosophy.
"At Raytheon, we want to do everything we can to generate excitement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) so that students will develop and sustain an interest in these subjects and go on to pursue STEM careers," said Pam Wickham, Raytheon's vice president of Corporate Affairs and Communications. "Well prepared teachers who can convey the excitement of engineering activities themselves can make a difference in the path of their students. We are thrilled to be partnering with the Museum of Science in the rollout of this innovative professional development program."
Raytheon's support will enable the Museum to expand EiE's reach and impact in several ways including:
--Creating an initial cadre of 10 EiE-endorsed PD Providers to serve as resources for teachers beyond their local area. This group will engage in an 18-month mentoring relationship with Museum staff.
--Hosting an annual EiE symposium for the next three years, creating a quarterly newsletter, and offering a live online networking forum on the EiE website to strengthen the relationships among teachers, PD providers, and research collaborators.
--Establishing three new partner sites, which will assume leadership roles in their regions by advocating for elementary engineering, running PD workshops for local administrators and teachers, and supporting these teachers as they introduce EiE to their students.
EiE integrates engineering and technology with science, language arts, social studies, and math via storybooks and hands-on design activities for first through fifth graders. Each unit includes an illustrated storybook with a child from a different country and culture who uses the engineering design process to solve a community-based problem.
EiE was one of seven programs chosen by the Change the Equation organization as part of President Barack Obama's "Educate to Innovate" campaign to improve STEM education.
NCTL curricula help students understand how STEM disciplines relate to each other and lead to innovation. A longtime STEM supporter and the Museum's longest-standing corporate member, Raytheon received a Stars of STEM award in April 2011 for its leadership in helping the Museum and other institutions foster future scientists and engineers.