ARLINGTON, VA—May 12, 2008—The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning, today announced that it has been awarded a 2-year, $3 million grant from the GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of General Electric Company. The grant will be used to support the continued development of the NSTA Learning Center and assist teachers in GE-supported school districts increase their science content knowledge and strengthen their teaching skills. The Learning Center is a state-of-the-art web portal that contains thousands of standards-based learning resources for science teachers, including SciPacks, on-demand learning experiences that engage teachers through interactive simulations, embedded questions, and pedagogical implications for the classroom.
“Research has shown that quality teaching is the most important factor affecting student achievement in science. However, as a country, we do very little to support and enhance science teaching,” said Gerry Wheeler, executive director, NSTA. “Through the NSTA Learning Center, science teachers can get the professional development they need to increase their science-content proficiency and improve their teaching skills.”
In addition to SciPacks, the Learning Center includes several other resources for teachers, including:
- More than 1,800 NSTA journal articles;
- More than 300 e-chapters from selected NSTA Press® books;
- Free live web seminars where participants can interact with nationally acclaimed experts, scientists, engineers, and education specialists; and
- Comprehensive suite of tools that allows teachers to assess, plan, and document their professional growth.
This grant will also directly support the GE Foundation Developing Futures in Education™ Program, a comprehensive effort to strengthen school systems and improve student learning in science and math in preparation for college and science and technology careers. This program also focuses on providing effective and efficient professional development support to science and math teachers, so that they can in turn provide higher quality instruction to their students.
In support of this program, NSTA will serve as the science advisor to the GE Foundation, and will work with the Foundation to facilitate the planning and implementation of actions most critical to improving the science program in each Developing Futures site-participating school district. NSTA will also provide GE Foundation staff with an independent assessment of each districts’ progress. Currently there are five school districts participating in the Developing Futures program. These districts are located in Louisville, Ky.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Stamford, Conn.; Erie, Pa.; and Atlanta, Ga.
“Like NSTA, the GE Foundation is committed to elevating the quality of science education in the U.S.,” said Kelli Wells, director of U.S. education, GE Foundation. “We are excited to be partnering with NSTA to provide science educators in GE-supported school districts and around the country access to high-quality science content that specifically addresses individual needs and professional development requirements.”
For more information about the NSTA Learning Center, please visit learningcenter.nsta.org.
The Arlington, VA–based National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA's current membership includes more than 57,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.
About the GE Foundation
The GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of the General Electric Company, works to strengthen educational access, equity, and quality for disadvantaged youth globally, and supports GE employee and retiree giving and involvement in GE communities around the world. In 2007, the GE family of businesses, employees, retirees and GE Foundation contributed more than $210 million to community and educational programs, including $93 million from the GE Foundation. For more information, visit www.gefoundation.com.
GE (NYSE: GE) is Imagination at Work—a diversified technology, media and financial services company focused on solving some of the world’s toughest problems. With products and services ranging from aircraft engines, power generation, water processing and security technology to medical imaging, business and consumer financing, media content and advanced materials, GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's website at www.ge.com.
National Science Teachers Association