In today’s uber-tech world, there is no arguing the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The jobs of today and tomorrow require a strong STEM foundation, yet the United States still lags when it comes to STEM education: The World Economic Forum ranks the United States 52nd globally in the quality of mathematics and science education, and 5th (and declining) in overall global competitiveness.
But STEM education here in Westchester and the Hudson Valley is about to get a boost, thanks to a new collaborative initiative spearheaded by Tarrytown-based Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The company has partnered with NASA, Teachers College, Columbia University and the STEM Education Leadership Center of Rye, to create the Hudson Valley STEM Teaching Fellowship, a cutting-edge professional development experience that will train local teachers to integrate STEM into classroom instruction.
The new initiative was announced at a STEM Education Symposium held in early April at Regeneron’s corporate headquarters in Tarrytown.
Ten high-school teachers from the Hudson Valley will be selected through a competitive application process as Regeneron Fellows to participate in the STEM Teaching Fellowship program. The STEM Education Leadership Center will form a selection committee consisting of science education experts from Teachers College and scientists from Regeneron. The fellowship program, which runs from Summer 2014 to Summer 2015, consists of the following three experiences:
NASA Endeavor Coursework
Fellows will earn a nine-credit graduate certificate in STEM education from Columbia University, in partnership with the NASA Endeavor Science Teaching Certificate Project. Coursework is delivered live online with interactive lectures. U.S. Satellite Laboratories administers the NASA Endeavor program at Teachers College. Upon completing the coursework, Fellows will receive a STEM Leadership Certificate from Teachers College, NASA Endeavor and U.S. Satellite.
Regeneron Science Mentorship
Fellows will engage in research at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals laboratories in Tarrytown where they will be assigned to research teams led by a Regeneron scientist who will serve as team leader and mentor. Mentors will engage Fellows in real-time research projects in the mentor’s scientific specialty.
Informal STEM Classroom Internship
Fellows will take part in professional development experiences with STEM master teachers in which they learn how engineering design and technology are integrated in the modern science classroom. This prepares fellows for leadership opportunities in one of the STEM Education Leadership Center’s informal science programs.