Five Expanded Learning Time Schools Receive Grant to Enhance STEM Education

As schools across the country struggle to find time to provide their students with engaging hands-on lessons in science, five schools and their science partners in Colorado, Connecticut, and Massachusetts have received grants from the National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL) and the Noyce Foundation to introduce a new STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education program to their students. This support comes at a crucial time as a number of states across the country adopt the Next Generation Science standards. These grants will support and enhance STEM education in expanded learning time schools and prepare students for success in high school and college as well as careers in science, technology and engineering.
“We are committed to supporting partnerships between schools and community-based science organizations to enhance the quality of STEM programming,” said Ron Ottinger, executive director of the Noyce Foundation. “We are excited about the potential of these partnerships to build students’ interest in science and hope they become models for how schools can strengthen science education through expanded learning time.”
Schools, along with their science partners, will use the grant money to plan for the implementation of the new STEM programming during the fall of 2014. Implementation of the new programming will begin in January 2015. In addition to the small grant funding, schools will receive technical assistance support throughout the year from the National Center on Time & Learning that aims to deepen the content of the STEM education and strengthen the partnerships between schools and external science educational institutions, like science museums.
“Hands-on science education is critically important to both engaging our students in learning as well as preparing them for the future,” said Jennifer Davis, co-founder and president of the National Center on Time & Learning. “The partnerships these expanded-time schools and science organizations develop as they plan for and put in place new science programming will demonstrate what’s possible – both when schools have more time in the school day for science education and when they have the time to thoughtfully plan hands-on science learning. These schools will be models for schools across the country that are looking to enrich their students’ learning with interactive and engaging STEM education.”
The grant recipients are:
  • -The A.C. Whelan Elementary School and Blue Heron STEM in Revere, MA will augment its science enrichment with new programming that will incorporate the Boston Museum of Science’s hands-on learning curriculum, Engineering is Elementary.
  • -The John Barry School and the Meriden YMCA in Meriden, CT will expand its engineering enrichment programming in the 2014-15 school year from serving grades kindergarten and three to serving grades kindergarten through five.
  • -The Centennial Elementary School and the DaVinci Club in Denver, CO will provide science enrichment programming to grades kindergarten through five that couples fine arts with the Next Generation Science standards and NASA programs.
  • -The Escuela Bilingüe Pioneer School in Lafayette, CO and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science plans to integrate the Museum’s Distance Learning Program, which incorporates collections from the Denver Museum of Nature & Science into virtual science lessons. New programming will also engage students in hands-on experiments designed by the Pioneer School and special units offered by the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.
  • -The Pennington Elementary School in Jefferson County, CO and the Children’s Museum of Denver plan to co-create and launch an experiential science program, Mini Hands of Pennington Take on Science, for kindergarten through third grade students. This new program is focused around problem-solving, the development of 21st century skills, and an increased understanding