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Raytheon - Museum Partnership Helps Teachers Meet New Science Standards

January 23, 2015

Twenty-four elementary school teachers from Harford County Public Schools in Maryland spent a day engineering this past October. Some designed a solar oven; others, a bridge; some even mopped up an oil spill. They were at a professional workshop supported by Raytheon, learning to use a curriculum developed by the Museum of Science, Boston. The goal? Make the school district's already excellent elementary STEM program even better.

A five-year, $1 million Raytheon-EiE Teacher Scholarship program is jumpstarting use of the award-winning Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®) curriculum at underserved schools nationwide through awards to individual teachers and entire districts; 36 new scholarships were awarded in January (see link below). An inquiry-based curriculum that features hands-on engineering design challenges, EiE was developed by the Museum's National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®) and has reached some 7 million children in all 50 states.

"We already use EiE district wide," says Harford County science specialist Amy Ryan. "But when Maryland adopted the new Next Generation Science Standards, we needed to realign our curriculum to these standards. Budget cuts prevented these steps, however. Raytheon's support makes the impossible possible," Ryan says, adding, "Businesses here are concerned that we graduate students who can fill STEM jobs. EiE reaches all students, including minorities and girls, and makes them problem solvers and critical thinkers."

The Raytheon scholarship will bring Ryan to Boston in February 2015 for a Teacher Educator Institute qualifying her to offer EiE professional development to other teachers -- saving the district the cost of hiring an outside workshop facilitator.

Last summer a Raytheon scholarship brought Colbert County (Florida) Elementary School STEM educator Kelly Thomas to an EiE professional workshop at the Museum. "I had a wonderful experience," Thomas said. "It spurred me to become an EiE PD provider, so I could help other teachers learn to use the curriculum." Thomas went on to lead workshops for teachers at six magnet schools in Broward County, where EiE now reaches about 2,400 minority and disadvantaged students (see link below).

Related Links

The Museum of Science, Boston

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