Jul 28, 2014

Helping Fill the STEM Gap for Illinois Students

Helping Fill the STEM Gap for Illinois Students

Currently, the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) is accepting applications for the summer 2014 programnow through June 7, and courses are offered at no cost to teachers selected to participate.

In Illinois, only approximately 50 percentof eighth grade science teachers took three or more advanced science courses in college. For Illinois students lacking the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education so highly valued by today’s employers, this is a cause for concern.

Awareness of this key education issue has garnered steps toward solving the science education and teacher training gap, with organizations across the state getting involved. In Deerfield, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and the MSI are working together to offer the MSI’s teacher training program to fourth through eighth grade science teachers in Lake County. The effort is part of the MSI’s Center for the Advancement of Science Education (CASE) programs to engage students and the adults who influence them. Takeda partnered with the MSI in 2012 to help bring this program to the local community.

The program offers teachers comprehensive courses in STEM areas and is centered in helping teachers develop engaging lesson plans to encourage STEM interest and learning. In the spring of 2014, the MSI and Michigan State University revealed the results of an intensive studyof the program, which showed it has a “direct effect on teacher knowledge,” and positively inspires student performance. 

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