Even the very best teachers need help in coming up with new ideas, money for fantasy projects, and technology resources. Corporations are stepping up to get involved in education through partnerships with individual schools and school systems. What’s in it for them? They, like most Americans, are concerned about the country’s future workforce.
As the global marketplace changes, U.S. companies will need well-educated, qualified candidates to take STEM-related career slots. Corporations, especially those in need of technical workers, are investing in the tomorrow’s workforce through grants, teacher training, fellowships, equipment, and experiential learning opportunities. Some are deploying employees to the classroom to offer role models to students who may have never met an engineer – especially one of color. Others are taking teachers out of their comfort zone and stretching their imagination about what is possible to teach in K-12 education.
Below are a few examples of programs available to support or train teachers and their students:
(Founded 1975 as the Southeastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering)
Eligibility: K-12 School-based classes or clubs, targeting populations underrepresented in STEM, but open to all students.
A pre-college STEM program in 15 states, SECME partners schools with a SECME University and Industry Partners to improve academic performance and prepare students for STEM majors and careers through teacher professional development, STEM competitions, and campus activities.
* Eligibility: The scholarship is open to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at historically black colleges and universities who plan to pursue teaching careers in science and math. Awards are based on academic merit and financial need.
The Siemens Teacher Scholarship initiative was launched in March 2005 in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund and the United Negro College Fund to encourage students enrolled at Historically Black Colleges and Universities to consider careers teaching science and math. Over a five year period, the Siemens Foundation committed to provide $1 million in scholarships to students enrolled at HBCUs that are members of the two organizations.
Eligibility: Third- through fifth-grade teachers from accredited schools.
From applications submitted at sendmyteacher.com, 100 teachers from across the country will be selected to attend the 2009 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy, a professional development program to help hone teaching skills and bolster knowledge in math and science subjects.
* Grant applicants may request up to $100,000.00.
* Grants will be for one year of project work.
* 25 percent or more of total grant dollars will support new programming, which is no more than one to two years old and does not expand on existing programs
* Organizations returning for three consecutive years may not apply for funding for a fourth year
Motorola’s Innovation Generation grants support innovative K-12 after-school programs that expose students to practical applications of science, technology, engineering and math, and programs, tools and curricula that strengthen America’s teacher corps, empowering them to effectively teach advanced science and technology.
Eligibility: K-12 teachers across America
ConocoPhillips has partnered with the National Energy Education Development Project to provide America’s teachers – and ultimately students – with training and resources on key energy topics. The partnership is designed to equip teachers with tools that they can incorporate into daily classroom activities to improve their students’ energy knowledge.
Eligibility: K-5 teachers in the greater Houston area
The nationally-renowned program for elementary-school teachers is guided by research showing that if students do not develop an interest in science by the fifth grade, they are unlikely to develop an interest in science at all. Achievement scores for the students of the REMSL-trained teachers have increased as high as 41 percent.
Eligibility: Junior-high and high-school teachers
As part of ConocoPhillips’ commitment to improve education, the company worked with experts to develop Teaching Tools, a series of free guides and videos to provide students with fun and interactive activities about math, science and critical thinking.
Eligibility: Open to teachers in regions where the public-private partnerships (PPPs) are set up. As of Sept 18, 2008 the Honduran program will kick-off.
Microsoft® Partnerships for Technology Access (PTA) is an innovative global initiative to extend the transformative power of technology to citizens who cannot otherwise afford to own personal computing solutions. PTA forms public-private partnerships (PPPs) with governments for the purpose of making technology solutions affordable and relevant to low income citizens as a means of advancing specific public policy goals in five key areas, including education. PTA solutions are usually funded through micro-financing, which helps facilitate access to credit and increase teachers’ buying power. Software, training, hardware and other elements of the solution are designed for the specific set of customers and made available and partners can offer innovative solutions by combining technologies with other private sector vendors, and helping educators in the public sector to innovate on their mandate to empower teachers – and thereby students – through knowledge.
In a PPP launched in Guatemala last year, called Opening Futures, personal computers were made available to all teachers through a line of credit extended from their banks and paid back as a debit from their monthly paycheck. Within six months, 80% of all Guatemalan teachers – more than 60,000 – had taken advantage of the program and bought personal computers for their homes. The program is being rolled out in Honduras in September 2008 and can be replicated across the world to help educators fill the gap between what public entities can provide and what educators can afford.
Eligibility: Open to all teachers in the 75+ ITN supported countries.
The Innovative Teacher’s Program is built on the understanding that informed, empowered teachers are at the heart of meaningful and effective teaching and learning. By inspiring and learning from each other, educators around the world are transforming the way their students engage with the world and their learning. Today, more than a million Innovative Teachers from 75 countries share great ideas, best practices, and professional development resources. They connect through two global programs – the Innovative Teacher’s Forum and the Innovative Teacher’s Network.
<http://www.microsoft.com/education/pil/IT_forums.aspx> : Innovative Teachers Forums<http://www.microsoft.com/education/pil/IT_forums.aspx> are a set of national, regional, and worldwide events that identify and reward exceptional examples of technology use in the classroom. The culmination of the regional Innovative Teacher’s Forum’s is the Worldwide Innovative Teacher’s Forum – an annual global event to be held this year in Bangkok, Thailand.
·Innovative Teacher’s Network <http://www.innovativeteachers.com/> : Innovative Teachers Network enables teachers to learn from one another and work collaboratively on new approaches to learning through national or region-wide portals.
Teachers Of Color.