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NCTL is Making a Difference

The NCTL is active in all 50 states.

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The NCTL provides guidance and resources to those who want to integrate engineering as a new discipline in schools and museums nationwide. Learn more:


US Rep. Paul Tonko Engineers Better Future in Classroom and Congress

March 03, 2015

To celebrate Engineers Week, Representative Paul Tonko (D-NY) joined 22 third graders and teacher Vanessa Ford at Maury Elementary School in Washington, DC, to begin a lesson on cleaning up an oil spill.

Their hands-on lesson is part of the Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®) curriculum, created by the Museum of Science, Boston via its National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®) to address the need for graduates with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills.

Rep. Tonko also celebrated Engineers Week by introducing H.R.823, a new version of the Educating Tomorrow's Engineers Act (ETEA) to support STEM education by highlighting engineering and computer science.

Rep. Tonko, an engineer himself, explained to students that the bill would provide "dollars and programs" so that students like them could learn "what engineers do" and discover if engineering "speaks to their hearts."

"We are thrilled that Rep. Tonko could experience the hands-on excitement of our NCTL curriculum, and we are honored to work with him on H.R. 823," said Museum president and director Ioannis Miaoulis. He created the NCTL to introduce engineering in schools and museums nationwide and to promote engineering through policy change and legislation such as ETEA.

Rep. Tonko and the students, all wearing protective goggles, tested the pH of different water samples, looking for clues to the source of water pollution. (SEE PHOTO ABOVE RIGHT).

After future experiments, these would-be environmental engineers will form a hypothesis about the origin of the spill and best clean-up method, then model a river with cooking oil and cocoa in a baking pan, setting the stage for the clean-up.

With Raytheon's support of EiE, 149 teachers at seven District of Columbia Public Schools have learned to teach the curriculum, reaching more than 6,000 students. NCTL K-12 curricula have reached over 82,500 teachers and 7.5 million students in 50 states.

The award-winning, teacher-tested Engineering is Elementary curriculum integrates engineering and technology with science, language arts, social studies, and math via storybooks and hands-on design activities. Students tackle engineering challenges, testing their own problem-solving skills, designing and building models of submersibles, biomedical devices, solar ovens, and other real-world projects.

The Museum of Science, Boston

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