Training Helps Teachers Ignite Student Interest in STEM Fields and Careers
San Diego, CA, November 5, 2013—Today, Sally Ride Science completed the launch of the Sally Ride Online Academy, the teacher training and professional development program that to date has been available only to educators in select school districts. Originally developed with the support of ExxonMobil for districts that had been the focus of that company’s educational support for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), the online training is now available to all educators, nationwide.
The Sally Ride Online Academy is designed to help educators promote student interest in STEM fields by making connections to the varied STEM careers that students can pursue. The program uses the achievements and personal stories of diverse professionals to offer aspirational role models, particularly for girls and minority students who are often under-represented in STEM fields. The training is based on teaching strategies and classroom tools tested in recent years via the Sally Ride Science Academy brought to you by ExxonMobil, an in-person academy with a “train-the-trainer” model that, since 2009, has reached nearly 10,000 educators and almost 1 million students in 51 districts across 16 states and the District of Columbia.
“The Online Academy will provide access to our professional development training for thousands of teachers who work outside the districts we previously reached through our partnership with ExxonMobil,” says Sally Ride Science CEO Sheryle Bolton. “We know, based on feedback from teachers, that these strategies and ready-to-use classroom resources can inspire students to learn more about important science and math concepts. Our goal is to have younger students actually picturing themselves as successful professionals in some of the fastest-growing fields in our economy.”
The launch coincides with an overhaul of www.sallyridescience.com, which has been made more functional and user-friendly, allowing visitors to more easily access the Online Academy and other products and programs from Sally Ride Science, including STEM Central, where educators can contribute, rate, and review the best STEM resources on the web.
The Online Academy offers three versions of STEM professional development for: upper elementary teachers (grades 4-5); middle school teachers (grades 6-8); and school counselors. Each course offers educators new, practical approaches and tools for helping students see the opportunities in STEM fields through real careers as seen through a diverse array of practicing professionals. The instruction practices offered, as well as the classroom materials used in the training, are aligned with the Common Core and other state standards designed to promote college and career readiness.
“There has never been a more critical time to connect students to the opportunities that await them in STEM,” Bolton says. “Our focus on college and career-readiness equips educators with approaches that they can use across the curriculum to engage students in the many career opportunities in STEM.”
The Online Academy offers a multimedia, cross-platform learning experience, facilitated by specialists at Sally Ride Science, for just $89. A special “Learn With a Friend” launch promotion allows two educators who take the training together to sign up for the single $89 price. Flexible school- and district-wide pricing options are also available. To learn more, visit www.sallyridescience.com/online-academy, or call 800-561-5161.