NCTL Plays Major Role at Delaware's first Statewide STEM Summit
July 18, 2012
More than 400 elementary, middle and high school teachers, administrators, and business leaders explored science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in July at the first-ever Delaware STEM Institute. The statewide STEM summit was hosted by the Delaware Department of Education with the Delaware Science Coalition at Providence Creek Academy in Clayton.
"We are very excited about this opportunity to work together to help prepare Delaware students for STEM fields," says Delaware DOE education associate of science Tonyea Mead. "It's our responsibility to make sure our students can analyze and problem-solve in this changing world."
The Museum of Science, Boston played an important role by making its educators and educational products available at summit workshops and training sessions through its National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®). In addition to both middle and high school curricula, a signature NCTL K-12 product is its Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®) curriculum integrating engineering and technology with science, language arts, social studies, and math via storybooks and hands-on design activities for 1st -5th graders.
Delaware is the first state to introduce EiE into all its elementary schools statewide. In 2010 Delaware highlighted EiE as one of its proposed activities for STEM education in its winning Race to the Top federal grant application.
In August 2011, the Delaware DOE began introducing Engineering is Elementary into elementary schools. The three-year roll-out will span all 19 Delaware school districts, plus charter schools, exposing an estimated 49,000 elementary students and 4,200 teachers to engineering and technology.
According to Mead, since last summer over 260 teachers have been trained on Engineering is Elementary units and have started introducing them in their classrooms. Over 150 more educators will be trained in EiE at the July institute, making over 400 teachers ready to teach EiE this fall. The state is about one-third of the way through the roll out.
Yvonne Spicer, the Museum's vice president for advocacy and educational partnerships, delivered the institute's keynote and also presented the NCTL's Gateway Project, unique in its strategy of guiding STEM-based educational reform by means of district-wide change.
Informal educators offered sessions on how STEM fits into programs at Delaware state parks, zoos, and nature centers. Among other STEM experts at the institute, Achieve's Jennifer Childress discussed the 2013 Next Generation Science Standards. Institute sponsors included Scholastic, Carolina Biological, Houghton Mifflin, and Compass Learning.