November 14, 2018

EDC Launches the Coalition for Elementary Science

WALTHAM, MASS |Education Development Center (EDC) announces the launch of the Coalition for Elementary Science. The kick-off event for the Coalition will be the Elementary Science Summit: Preparing K–5 for a STEM Future, November 30, at EDC headquarters in Waltham.

The Summit will bring together Coalition members to focus on improving elementary science education for students in New England schools. Topics will include the current state of science in New England’s elementary schools, what constitutes high-quality elementary science, and action plans for moving forward. Coalition members include key influencers such as policymakers, educators, parents, business leaders, philanthropists, and the media.

Research shows that children who experience hands-on science opportunities at an early age have greater STEM success later in life. However, most elementary-age children get little, if any, time for science. One New England state, for example, reported that 45 percent of students in grades pre-K–2 and 35 percent of students in grades 3–5 receive less than 9 hours of science instruction per year. The Elementary Science Summit will take the first steps to reversing that trend in New England.

“Improving elementary science is a complex problem. If we’re going to make a difference, it requires multiple individuals and sectors coming together with a common purpose,” said Abigail Jurist Levy, co-director of EDC’s science and math programs. “Through collaboration, the Coalition for Elementary Science will be a powerful voice working to influence learning and teaching in elementary school classrooms.”

The Summit’s featured speakers are as follows:

  • Heidi Schweingruber, PhD, director, Board on Science Education at the National Research Council
  • Erin Hashimoto-Martell, PhD, director of STEM, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Val Zanchuk, president, Graphicast, Inc.
  • Scott Sedberry, director, Business Development, Texas Instruments

“The only way to enable tomorrow’s STEM workforce is by coming together today, industry and education, to promote the importance of STEM learning in all grades,” said Sedberry. “If we diminish our efforts toward elementary grades or the individual STEM disciplines like science, we will forfeit our students’ STEM futures and our nation’s ability to compete.”

For more information about the Coalition or the Early Science Summit, contact Abigail Jurist Levy. Registration for the Summit is open through November 23.

Education Development Center (EDC) is a global nonprofit that advances lasting solutions to improve education, promote health, and expand economic opportunity. Since 1958, we have been a leader in designing, implementing, and evaluating powerful and innovative programs in more than 80 countries around the world.