The NEA Foundation announced that two public school districts will receive $150,000 each to build comprehensive science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) learning programs. The Moreno Valley Unified School District in California and Green Bay Area Public Schools in Wisconsin will create programs to support professional learning in bringing STEM into the classroom.
“Effective STEM education in public schools requires not only the right tools but also the right educator expertise,” said Sara A. Sneed, president and CEO, the NEA Foundation. “The NEA Foundation is proud to support educators in peer-to-peer learning to engage and cultivate student exposure to and interest in STEM.”
This support for professional development empowers educators to implement project based learning, which is key to student success. The NEA Foundation grants enable educators to collaborate on STEM learning across schools in their district and to build their programs to meet the specific needs of their educators and students.
Moreno Valley Unified School District will use the grant funding to introduce a certification process to six schools currently offering STEM including arts education (STEAM), as well as four additional schools.
“We are honored and humbled to have been selected to receive the STEM grant from the NEA Foundation,” said Dr. Martinrex Kedziora, superintendent of schools for the Moreno Valley Unified School District. “This opportunity will allow us to continue to make a significant impact on our students lives through our STEAM program.”
Moreno Valley will use a professional learning community model, an evidence-based rubric, and flexible framework to certify schools and grow student engagement with the program. The district will create STEAM coaches to increase the effectiveness of classroom instruction, ensure peer-to-peer support, and establish sustainability over time.
“Ultimately, we will equip our students with increased 21st century skills which will enable them to compete globally and attain high-level positions in STEAM-related fields,” said Dr. Susan Buster, director of professional development and digital learning at the Moreno Valley Unified School District.
“Our future depends on the development of the creative minds of our students,” Greg Solomon, coordinator of visual and performing arts at Moreno Valley Unified. “Without the arts, this is impossible.”
The Green Bay Area Public School District will leverage the STEM grant to create an interdisciplinary curriculum that builds from one grade level to the next. In addition, they will develop educational opportunities such as job shadowing and work-based learning experiences for high school students.