As part of the ITEST program’s paleontology project, students discover a T. rex rib near Fort Peck, Montana.
With NSF funding, EDC will work with middle school girls from across the country as they develop a series of 10–12 five-minute videos that investigate what it means to be a scientist or engineer.
The videos will emphasize such skills as leadership, working in teams, and problem-solving, and will explore how these skills relate to careers in science, technology, engineering, and math, commonly referred to as “STEM.” The videos will focus on girls with diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, and those with disabilities.
“The girls define the content because they have a better sense of what matters most and what is most engaging to their peers,” says EDC’s Sarita Nair-Pillai.
Once completed, the videos will be posted on EDC’s career exploration Web site, the FunWorks, and will be accompanied by resources for educators to use with the videos in their classrooms. Reaching students nationwide
NSF has awarded EDC an additional $4 million to expand its work as a resource center for the more than 100 programs that support the national effort known as ITEST (Information Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers). ITEST reaches 120,000 students and more than 4,000 teachers in grades 6–12 through hands-on projects in schools, universities, museums, and afterschool programs.
Under the four-year grant agreement, EDC will continue to bring students and teachers from each ITEST program together—both in person and virtually—to share promising practices and offer recommendations for educators and policymakers seeking ways to address the looming shortage of U.S. workers qualified in these fields.
“We all want to ensure that students have the necessary science, technology, and engineering skills to keep the United States globally competitive,” says EDC’s Joyce Malyn-Smith. “The projects we support are sparking student interest and building skills—both by working directly with students and providing professional development for teachers.”
DC’s efforts to boost student interest in science, technology, engineering, and math have been recognized and rewarded with continued support from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Originally published on January 1, 2008