ARLINGTON, Va.—December 7, 2012—The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all, today announced that it presented its prestigious Distinguished Partnership Award to the GE Foundation , the philanthropic organization of the General Electric Company, at NSTA’s Phoenix Area Conference on Science Education yesterday. The award pays tribute to the Foundation’s steadfast commitment to the improvement and enhancement of science education in partnership with NSTA.
Over the last several years, the GE Foundation has partnered with NSTA on two important initiatives. The first is the NSTA Learning Center (NLC), an online destination for science educators to identify, obtain, and certify professional learning experiences using nearly 10,000 quality NSTA e-learning resources and opportunities. The Foundation’s grants enabled NSTA to continue its development of the NLC and its resources and assist teachers in GE-supported schools districts with increasing their science content knowledge and strengthening their teaching skills.
GE Foundation funding is also supporting the development of a new SciPack—on-demand learning experiences that engage teachers through interactive simulations, embedded questions, and pedagogical implications for the classroom—that will address the upcoming Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS); converting SciPacks into iBooks; and enhancing the NLC for deeper engagement via professional learning communities.
The other program supported by the GE Foundation is the GE Science Advisor Initiative. This initiative connects NSTA to the Foundation’s seven Developing Futures™ in Education school districts and allows for district leadership cohorts to participate in NSTA national, regional, and specialized conferences, such as the STEM Forum & Expo. Teachers and administrators in the Developing Futures districts also take part in an annual summer conference cosponsored by NASA at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida that enhances their understanding of the application of math to space exploration.
The goals of the GE Science Advisor Initiative are to increase student achievement in science for all students, appropriately increasing the rigor of the science curriculum, and developing sustainable infrastructure for the science program within the district’s policies and programs.
“Our successful collaboration with the GE Foundation has enabled us to develop a nationally scalable electronic professional development system that deepens and expands the content understanding of all science teachers. And through the GE Science Advisor Initiative, dozens of teachers and administrators in Developing Futures districts have received the support and encouragement they need to inspire their students in the science classroom, said Dr. Gerry Wheeler, interim executive director, NSTA. “We are grateful for the GE Foundation’s continued commitment to quality science teaching and learning and for their unwavering support of teachers whose work will ultimately help shape student achievement in the sciences.”
The Distinguished Partnership Award, which has only been given three times in NSTA history, was presented to GE Foundation U.S. Education Director Kelli Wells on behalf of the Foundation.
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The Arlington, VA based National Science Teachers Association, is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA’s current membership includes approximately 60,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.
About GE Foundation
GE Foundation works to solve some of the world's most difficult problems. In coordination with its partners, GE Foundation supports U.S. and international education, developing health globally, the environment, public policy, human rights, disaster relief and community success around the globe. Through the Developing Futures™ in Education program, GE Foundation has committed nearly $200 million to seven U.S. school districts to improve student achievement through a rigorous math and science curriculum, professional development opportunities for teachers and management capacity improvement. For more information visit the Foundation’s website at www.gefoundation.com.
Kate Falk, NSTA