EiE Collaborator is Presidential Award Recipient

North Carolina educator is honored for STEM mentoring


Elizabeth Parry brings engineering education to North Carolina schools.
Thursday, April 9, 2015

An Engineering is Elementary (EiE) professional development collaborator has been named a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). Elizabeth Parry is based in Raleigh, where she is the coordinator for STEM Partnership Development at The Engineering Place, a K-20 engineering education and outreach program at North Carolina State University, 

The award is given by the White House to individuals and organizations to recognize the crucial role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science and engineering – particularly those who belong to groups that are underrepresented in the field. This year’s award was given to 14 individuals and one organization.

Parry and the other recipients will be honored at the White House later this year and will receive a $10,000 cash award funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of the award recognition.

As the coordinator for STEM partnership development in The Engineering Place, Parry has managed multimillion-dollar grants from the NSF GK-12 Program. A certified Engineering is Elementary professional development provider, she was also one of the educators engaged in pilot testing EiE units during the curriculum development process. "We're all so pleased for Liz to have received this honor," says EiE director Christine Cunningham. "Her work in North Carolina schools has really made a difference for so many children."

“I absolutely love being an engineer," Parry said, "and I love that I have so many opprtunities to share that passion with NC State students as well as teachers, students and parents from preschool through 12th grade (P12). I myself have been so fortunate to have had strong mentors in my life, beginning as a child and continuing to this day. So I know the importance of mentoring.  To be recognized at this level is simply amazing.”

Parry works with teachers, schools and districts to implement engineering for all students at all levels. She is part of a team that develops workshops and conference presentations that train educators on how to enact engineering principles in their classrooms in a sustainable way. In her time with The Engineering Place, she has held a variety of leadership positions in the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), a group of more than 12,000 professionals engaged in educating engineers at the post secondary level.

Parry has worked in The Engineering Place since 1999. She is a former manager at IBM who earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering management/mechanical engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri University of Science and Technology) in 1983.

Engineering is Elementary is a project of the National Center for Technological Literacy at the Museum of Science, Boston.

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