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STEM Education Happenings This Week

For those readers who just can't get enough of STEM education, several events taking place this week may help you get your fill.

First, the National Science Teachers Association tomorrow is hosting a two-day STEM Education Policy Conference in Washington. Among the confirmed speakers are Steve Robinson, a former science teacher and a member of the White House Domestic Policy Council, and Michael Lach, a special assistant for STEM education at the U.S. Department of Education. Lach also is a former science teacher.

Second, a group of Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellows will convene tomorrow morning for a panel discussion in Washington on teacher quality. In particular, they'll share their perspectives on what characteristics a federal definition of a "highly effective" STEM teacher should address under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. In addition, they will discuss the impact of high-quality professional-development programs.

I've spoken with a number of Einstein fellows over time, and have attended similar panel events, and can tell you that they're a thoughtful bunch that bring a strong and welcome classroom grounding to policy conversations. The event is hosted by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Third, edweek.org is hosting a paid webinar this Wednesday, July 13, titled "The STEM Teacher as Project Manager: Leveraging Outside Knowledge and Resources." The event will focus on how innovative STEM teachers are locating and coordinating outside materials and expertise and integrating them into their curriculum and instruction.


I just learned about one other STEM education event, though this one is happening next week. Two hundred teachers will attend the annual Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy from July 17 to 22 at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City.

It's an all-expenses paid professional development program for elementary school teachers designed to strengthen their math and science teaching skills. The teachers participating next week were selected from among 1,500 applicants nationwide. Although it's obviously a little late to apply for this year, interested teachers can submit their applications for 2012 through the academy website.

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