Northrop Grumman Foundation Teachers Academy
The Northrop Grumman Foundation Teachers Academy is in its fifth year. The program—designed specifically for middle school teachers (grades 5–8)—was established to help enhance teacher confidence and classroom excellence in science, engineering and technology, while increasing teacher understanding about the skills needed for a scientifically literate workforce. The Academy, which is directed by the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA), will support up to 32—teachers of physical science, engineering, and/or technology located in public school districts in select Northrop Grumman communities across the United States. The teachers will be immersed throughout the year in a host of blended professional learning opportunities in science, technology, and engineering.
Due to COVID-19 the 2019–2020 Northrop Grumman Foundation Teachers Academy Teacher Fellows are completing the Academy program in 2021. The Fellows—26 middle school teachers (grades 5–8) from Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Texas, and Utah—will complete their participation in a number of science, technology, and engineering-related activities and professional learning opportunities.
About the Northrop Grumman Foundation Teachers Academy
Launched in 2015, the Northrop Grumman Foundation Teachers Academy, co-founded by the Northrop Grumman Foundation, was created to elevate STEM education in middle school grades (5–8) within school districts located in Northrop Grumman communities. The Academy provides effective, blended professional learning experiences to middle level teachers so that they can better foster their students' interest in engineering, strengthen workforce skills, and expose students to STEM careers. NSTA and the Northrop Grumman Foundation believe that a passion for engineering can be ignited among teachers and students by engaging teachers in real-world engineering and technology, increasing their awareness of STEM career opportunities, and providing teachers aligned blended professional learning experiences focused on effective practices they can implement in their classrooms.
Northrop Grumman engineers and technologists are integral to the design and implementation of the program by providing meaningful experiences and real world perspectives that impact teacher designed lessons and projects. These experiences model workforce skills and offer local expertise and support for the respective school districts in participating Northrop Grumman communities. An engineer/technologist partnership with teachers can be highly beneficial to the professional learning of STEM educators. (National Academies of Science, 1996; Quality Evaluation Design for, Industry Initiatives for Science & Math Education 2012; American Society for Engineering Education, 2016; Iowa STEM Evaluation Report: Iowa STEM Teacher Externships, 2016).
The selected "Teacher Fellows" will commit to:
- Attend the NSTA National Conference on Science Education and preconference special events;
- Participate in a summer five-day workshop at a Northrop Grumman facility in Los Angeles, California, where they will continue to explore teaching strategies and programs for integrating effective and authentic STEM practices and workforce skills in their classroom;
- Participate in an immersive, 60- to 70-hour externship at their local Northrop Grumman facility, where they will be partnered with an engineer/technologist to observe and experience critical workforce skills in action;
- Engage throughout the yearlong program in online Professional Learning via a comprehensive NSTA membership package which offers a variety of web-based professional learning activities, including a specially designated online learning community;
- Develop classroom applications that integrate an authentic and "real-world" application linked to the externship experiences; and
- Access tools/resources to develop strategies to share their learning with colleagues to build capacity within their schools and districts.
These experiences will be continually integrated and followed-up with blended online learning experiences in the NSTA Learning Center, providing the Teacher Fellows with access to NSTA's extensive online collection of education resources, web seminars, and discussions. Additionally, the Teacher Fellows and the Northrop Grumman engineers/technologists will become part of an ongoing Northrop Grumman Foundation professional learning community that resides within the NSTA Learning Center network. This year the 2018–19 Teacher Fellows will have the opportunity to give back to their profession by helping to build awareness and capacity both within their district and selected alumni will present sessions at the 2019 NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Boston.
The 2020 preselected communities near Northrop Grumman facilities:
- San Bernardino
- San Diego
- Space Park
- Spectrum Center - San Diego
- Woodland Hills
- Colorado Springs
- St. Augustine
- Rolling Meadows
- Promontory / Bacchus
- Hill AFB - Clearfield
About the Northrop Grumman Foundation and Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman and the Northrop Grumman Foundation are dedicated to expanding and enhancing sustainable science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education opportunities for students globally. With an emphasis on middle school and university level students, our engineering and technology-based partnerships are designed to excite, engage and educate students as they defend cyber networks, engineer autonomous vehicles, explore space and more. In addition, we provide workforce-relevant professional development to middle school educators to advance their competence in teaching STEM subjects, in turn, inspiring students to explore STEM careers and increasing their STEM skills proficiency. In 2019, we contributed over 15 million dollars towards these initiatives.
"The Northrop Grumman Foundation Teachers Academy program allowed me to connect my teaching of STEM concepts to students with real world applications and allowed me to make connections to real world STEM careers. I heard from every single person I spoke to that content knowledge is important, but if someone is unable to communicate their brilliant ideas to other people and work with others to accomplish their goals it is impossible to be successful on your own. I was able to use these experiences to communicate the importance of learning and using the soft skills needed for effective communication and teamwork among my students while they continue to work on their projects."
"I find myself referencing my experience, especially my externship often. I have been able to speak with confidence about skill and areas in which my students need to grow in order to be ready for the real world. I also saw how some of the things we teach our students, such as coding, can be enhanced to more directly relate to the real world."
"All the professional learning sessions were wonderful, but a VERY close second was how wonderful it was to get to know the other Teacher Fellows. It has been wonderful to meet up unofficially and get to know each other's personalities, strengths, backgrounds, and how we really complement each other's skills."
"The Academy experiences encouraged me to make continual real-world connections with the content being taught. I now try to include one overarching question in each of the units I teach to support the students in understanding why the content is relevant to them and give their learning purpose."