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Raytheon Award Supports Teacher Professional Development

October 19, 2014

In 2011 the technology company Raytheon made a $2 million grant to the Museum of Science, Boston to jumpstart engineering education for young children by bringing Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®), an award-winning inquiry-based curriculum developed at the Museum's National Center for Technological Literacy®, to classrooms around the country. One key initiative of the grant was making teacher professional development (PD) more widely available in three high-needs regions.

Today, just three years after the Raytheon award was announced three organizations in the targeted regions are official collaborators offering EiE PD to area teachers. They include the Alabama Mathematics, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, the Arizona Science Center (ASC), and the Office of Curriculum and Instruction at the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS).

In Alabama, 80 teachers and 25 teacher educators have attended Raytheon-sponsored workshops; a plan is in place for a statewide network of PD providers. In addition to offering EiE workshops, ASC is creating its own cadre of EiE PD providers and has expanded its PD offerings to include EiE's two out-of-school time curricula, Engineering Adventures® and Engineering Everywhere™. DCPS has hosted 10 Raytheon-sponsored EiE PD workshops and is implementing the curriculum in seven elementary schools.

According to the 2010 National Survey on STEM Education, insufficient professional development (PD) for STEM teachers is one of the most important challenges that schools face today. But when teachers get effective PD, students benefit, according to a report from the government's Institute of Education Sciences. A survey of teachers who have implemented EiE thanks to Raytheon support backs this finding. Teachers overwhelmingly say they feel their students are more engaged, learning science concepts better, and showing improved creativity and collaboration.

Related Links

The Museum of Science, Boston

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