The best way to develop STEM-capable students is to develop STEM-capable teachers. Instilling awareness of science, technology, engineering and math education needs to happen in elementary school – when it matters most.
The Monsanto Fund has awarded the Institute for School Partnership (ISP) at Washington University a $200,000 grant to support the STEM Teacher Quality Program or STEM TQ, an intensive two-week seminar where elementary teachers learn how to “stemitize” their lessons, connect STEM curriculum to the real world, student interests and future careers.
“Giving teachers the STEM learning experience enables them to see the possibilities for themselves and their students, so they can reinforce STEM capable learning in everyone,” said STEM TQ coordinator Deborah Holmes.
Launched in 2011, STEM TQ has graduated some 500 elementary and middle school teachers from almost every district in the bi-state region as well as many charter school teachers.
“What makes it unique is that after getting a foundation in STEM concepts, the program then goes beyond classrooms and curriculums and into the real world, demonstrating to teachers how STEM can be translated into meaningful careers,” said Victoria May, executive director of the ISP.
The Monsanto Fund is a founding supporter of ISP, generously assisting its collective efforts, including spearheading some of ISP’s signature initiatives.
“We’re happy to have been able to support ISP through the years and proud to continue the existing relationship,” said Al Mitchell, president of the Monsanto Fund. “In particular, STEM TQ is an outstanding program that equips teachers with the necessary tools to help students succeed in class and go on to have successful careers. By reaching a large number of teachers we can impact an even larger number of students, which goes a long way in preparing the next generation of scientists, STEM leaders and even future professionals in other career fields.”
“We’re proud to stand alongside Monsanto Fund, and grateful for their confidence in our approach,” May said. “The longevity of our programs speaks to their value.”
The STEM TQ program is made possible by STEMpact, a collaborative network of St. Louis’ leading employers, of which Monsanto Fund is a member, as well as school districts and Washington University. ISP has been involved in the effort since its inception, providing meeting space, administrative support and guidance to STEMpact corporate funders.
About the Institute for School Partnership
The Institute for School Partnership is Washington University in St. Louis’ signature effort to strategically improve teaching and learning within the K-12 education community. Through ISP, local schools are connected with a world-class research university, teachers are inspired with new knowledge, and teachers and students are empowered with the best resources.
About the Monsanto Fund
The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the farm communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work.