Teaching grant to foster better STEM education

Ashley Reimers
Posted

Teachers in the state will get an added boost to the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) instruction with a grant from the National Education Association.

Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia announced that Colorado will be the first state to receive a challenge Grant from NEA, and matching-fund partners, from the Morgridge Family Foundation and Xcel Energy.

The grant total is $400,000, with NEA providing $200,000, the Morgridge Family Foundation providing $150,000 and Xcel is providing $50,000.

“Colorado’s economy is adding jobs in STEM-related fields every day and we need to meet this growing demand by educating a highly-skilled and competitive work force,” he said during a press conference at Northglenn High School Jan. 15.

The grant funds are going to a new statewide vision and plan to improve the Colorado STEM teacher training program. The plan is being implemented in Colorado by the New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning for teacher training, certification, technology and support to expand the STEM program in Colorado.

Kerrie Dallman, Colorado Education Association president, said NEA’s goal is to raise $1.5 million in efforts to spread the New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning teacher model to many states.

She said the center cultivates teachers who are highly qualified and skilled educators to fill science and math teacher shortages.

“We know a great teacher can make a tremendous impact on a student’s desire and ability to master STEM content, but Colorado lacks the number of teachers we need to help enough students learn these exciting subjects,” she said. “This investment will grow our talent pool of outstanding STEM teachers and further our state’s collective goal of preparing every student to thrive in a dynamic economy.”

Carrie Morgridge, Morgridge Family Foundation vice president, said the foundation is thrilled to be part of the program that is bringing physics and math training to Colorado.

“We believe in doing all we can to transform the lives of students and teachers through proven instructional strategies,” she said.

Bob Goodman, New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning executive director, said the program is providing all students with a great mathematic education which is essential if they want to have access to the top jobs.

He said the program is embraced by democrats, republicans, businesses and unions and will provide students equal employment opportunity and a good future.

“I want to express my appreciation to the NEA, Morgridge Family Foundation and Xcel Energy for having confidence in a program that has proven so successful in New Jersey,” he said. “And for providing the financial support needed to bring it to the students of Colorado.”

For more information on the New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning, visit https://njctl.org.