STEM Training Milestone Reached

30,000 New STEM Teachers Part of President Obama’s Legacy

President Obama committed to training 100,000 STEM teachers by 2021 in his 2011 State of the Union address. In response to his call, nonprofit 100kin10 was formed and has built a coalition of 280 national partner organizations that has pledged $90 million to support the development and training of new STEM teachers. This month’s announcement on National Teacher Appreciation Day celebrated the 30,000 teachers who have now been trained in this initiative.

Network partners include an array of diverse organizations such as NASA, Teach for America, the Girl Scouts, American Federation of Teachers, California State University and the Clinton Global Initiative where 100kin10 was launched as a CGI Commitment to Action in 2011. Initial funding was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The partners, who are active in all 50 states, have made commitments to recruiting, training, placing, and supporting teachers in STEM topics.

10,000 of the new STEM teachers were trained at California State University. Dr. Loren Blanchard, executive vice-chancellor, said, “Through connections to meaningful and productive new partners, access to experts and funding, and opportunities to collectively problem-solve with fellow leaders in STEM education, CSU has already trained thousands more and better-prepared STEM educators than we would have otherwise.”

Challenges to STEM education include lack of interest on the part of high school graduates to move into STEM education. A recent survey of 1.8 million 2014 graduates revealed that only 5,500 were interested in teaching science or math.

In addition to training 100,000 teachers, the network is committed to working on the “systemic challenges” that impact STEM education such as inadequate professional development and limited hands-on learning experiences for both students and teachers. Network commitments also include regular summits, training toolkits, and collaboration opportunities to meet the goal.

Some of the accomplishments to date include:S

  • In New York City schools, scientists in residence lead classroom programs for STEM teachers and students.
  • The Colorado School of Mines, the University of Northern Colorado and the Denver Teaching Residency have partnered to create a path for engineering graduates to be trained for STEM classrooms.
  • The Tennessee Department of Education and the nonprofit Donorschoose.org are helping to fund classroom supplies for teachers in 200 rural schools.

Opportunities for education companies abound with the new focus on STEM education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Schools are looking for qualified STEM teachers as well as the materials to support ongoing professional development and hands-on experiments for all grade levels. A particularly fruitful area is in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs that provide a non-college alternate route to multiple technical medical careers.

Visit 100kin10.org for more information on this national initiative.