Helios Education Foundation Invests Over $800,000 to Improve STEM Education in Pinal County

Posted on: September 15, 2010

Helios Education Foundation is investing over $800,000 to fund the Next Generation STEM Leaders Project in Pinal County schools in partnership with the Arizona Rural Education Alliance (AREA) Foundation. The program will improve the quality of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teaching by training teachers to become STEM leaders. This award will also be used to help improve student performance in middle school over a three-year period, starting in the fall of 2010, and help encourage students to strive toward a higher level of postsecondary education.

Through this new partnership which includes collaboration between Pinal County schools and Central Arizona College, teachers will gain content knowledge and expertise in related curriculum development, skill in unwrapping academic standards for teacher instruction, experience in selecting scientifically-based curriculum materials and resources to design professional development that supports instruction in the STEM content areas. STEM teachers will also collaborate with other teachers at their schools through professional learning communities and a system of professional development for local schools and/or districts.

"Research shows in order to improve science and mathematics instruction and raise student achievement strong education leadership is needed right at the district or school level," said Dr. Jo Anne Vasquez, VP and Program Director Transition Years Teacher and Curriculum Initiatives for Helios Education Foundation. "The Next Generation of STEM Leaders is an intensive, three year project which will build this strong cadre of STEM education site-based leadership who can effectively bring instructional change in each and every middle school classroom."

Yvonne Corley, CEO of the AREA Foundation, stated that, "Pinal County Schools are interested in promoting STEM Education and two districts are opening STEM specific schools this year. Pinal County is fortunate to receive resources that will train knowledgeable leaders to guide high quality STEM programs. We are excited about our partnership with the Helios Education Foundation, Pinal County School Office and Central Arizona College to be able to structure and deliver a quality program of this magnitude."

Category: College and Career Readiness

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