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Museum of Science President Ioannis Miaoulis Testifies on Capitol Hill

April 12, 2013

Invited by the U.S. House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education, Museum of Science president Ioannis (Yannis) Miaoulis testified on April 10 to the success of its National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®) in advancing K-12 engineering.

With the widespread concern that the nation's preeminence in science and innovation is eroding (only 5% of U.S. college graduates major in engineering, compared with 12% of European students, and 20% of those in Asia), Miaoulis said that the introduction of K-12 engineering education can improve student achievement in science and mathematics, increase awareness about engineering careers, and boost students' technology and engineering literacy, according to the National Academies report, "Engineering in K-12 Education."

The Museum established the NCTL in 2004 in response to the new Massachusetts science, technology and engineering standards. "We realized there were very few instructional materials for teachers to use so we embarked on a mission to create K-12 engineering curricula and teacher professional development (PD) programs," Miaoulis said. The NCTL partners with industry, school administrators, and formal and informal educators, across the U.S. to introduce engineering design as a problem-solving process, to deliver cutting-edge engineering curricular resources, and to provide relevant pre-service and in-service teacher PD programs and tools. The NCTL's curricula and teacher training have reached over 48,800 teachers and 4 million students.

Miaoulis said that competitive federal grants (about 5% of the Museum's operating budget) are important because they leverage corporate and philanthropic dollars; the remaining 95% is from contributions, admissions, membership, and program fees. Corporate partners include Raytheon, Google, Liberty Mutual, Genzyme, Biogen Idec, Microsoft and Cisco.

The hearing, chaired by Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN), focused on the state of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education in the U.S. Members discussed the need to reevaluate the federal government's STEM investment to ensure it is helping students compete for jobs in these high-demand fields.

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The Museum of Science, Boston

  1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114  phone: 617-723-2500