The Role of the National Laboratory in Improving Secondary Science Education
The Role of the National Laboratory in Improving Secondary Science Education While the role of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teachers in our education system is obvious, their role in our economic and national security system is less so. Our nation relies upon innovation and creativity applied in a way that generates new technologies for industry, health care, and the protection of our national assets and citizens. Often, it is our science teachers who generate the excitement that leads students to pursue science careers. While academia provides these teachers with the tools to educate, the rigors of a science and technology curriculum, coupled with the requisite teaching courses, often limit teacher exposure to an authentic research environment. As the single largest funding agency for the physical sciences, the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science plays an important role in filling this void. For STEM teachers, the DOE Academies Creating Teacher Scientists program (ACTS) bridges the worlds of research and education. The ACTS program at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), one of several across the country, exemplifies the value of this program for participating teachers. Outcomes of the work at BNL as evidenced by the balance of this report, include the following: (1) Teachers have developed long-term relationships with the more »
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