$600,000 Donation Equips Orange County Teachers with Science Kits and STEM Workshops
IRVINE, Calif. (PRWEB) July 25, 2018
The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation announced a $600,000 donation to extend its support of Kids@Science Foundation’s professional development for STEM teachers over the next three years. The contribution will enable K-5 teachers throughout Orange County to obtain free registrations for Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) workshops that include fully developed units and materials kits. The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation’s aim of “supporting young scientists today for tomorrow’s breakthrough discoveries” extends to the critical formative years of grade school when teachers help shape children’s curiosity and understanding of science.
Kids@Science has at its core three main goals: To give all children the opportunity to experience high quality, hands-on science; to support schools and teachers via professional development for student engagement and achievement in STEM education; and to sustain the hands-on, inquiry-based science programs that are in place due to the support provided by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. Meeting those goals will help to increase student content knowledge, critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration while concurrently igniting curiosity in children and passion in teachers. It will also facilitate the restructuring of science training to better match the newly released standards.
“The best approach to accomplishing our goals is to provide teachers with professional development in STEM and to support them in networking with science advocates to create and certify high quality science leaders,” explained Lauren Vu Tran, Program Director of Kids@Science. “It’s vital that we assist teachers who are passionate about science to collaborate with university and science partners to provide meaningful training with frequency, and to assist teachers to balance the use of textbooks with hands-on science kits. The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation is making that happen through its generous support of Kids@Science.”
Since 1999, 15 school districts and six private schools in Orange County have embarked upon a challenge issued to them by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation: To bring quality, hands-on, inquiry-based science education to the elementary school teachers and children throughout the County. The districts were tasked with providing matching funds for the professional development of their teachers, as well as to provide quality, research-based science materials for their students.
“Dr. Arnold Beckman advocated learning science by doing science, a method of instruction that has been proven successful in developing and improving children’s skills while sustaining their interest,” shared Dr. Anne Hultgren, Executive Director of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. “Creating a foundation of quality science education in elementary schools fosters long-term outcomes that may someday lead to the breakthrough discoveries of advanced science.”
About the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation
Located in Irvine, California, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation supports U.S. researchers and U.S. nonprofit research institutions in making the next generation of breakthroughs in chemistry and the life sciences. Founded in 1978 by 20th century scientific instrumentation pioneer Dr. Arnold O. Beckman, the Foundation supports institutions and scientists whose creative, high-risk, and interdisciplinary research will lead to innovations and new tools and methods for scientific discovery. For more information, visit http://www.beckman-foundation.org.
About Kids@Science Foundation
Teachers and science advocates have united to form the Kids@Science Foundation, a nonprofit, 501(c)(3), organization dedicated to working with schools, districts and the community to collaboratively promote, support and enhance hands-on, high quality science education for children. The means for providing such education includes, but is not limited to, providing the opportunity for professional development, quality curriculum and materials support. For more information, visit http://www.kidsatscience.org.
Photo: (l-r) Dr. Anne Hultgren, Arnold Shugarman, Maureen Allen, Teresa Acerco-Ramirez, Lauren Vu-Tran