Museum of Science, Boston and Oracle Bring Hands-on Engineering Education to Florida Elementary Schools

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

BOSTON, Mass. -- The Museum of Science, Boston and Oracle are collaborating with the Orlando Science Center (OSC) to bring an award-winning STEM curriculum developed by the Museum’s National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®) to schools in the Orlando area. A $25,000 grant from Oracle will support 20 Florida elementary teachers in learning to implement the Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®) curriculum through a professional development workshop hosted by OSC; the scholarship recipients will also receive a complete set of EiE curriculum materials to use in their classrooms.

"Enthusiastic, prepared teachers are essential to sparking student interest in STEM," says Museum president and NCTL founder Ioannis Miaoulis. “Oracle’s generous support helps us to expand our education of elementary teachers nationwide who can engage young children in the STEM skills and concepts they need in today’s engineering world.”

“When teachers are well prepared to teach engineering in the elementary grades, their students benefit,” says EiE director and Museum vice president Christine Cunningham. “We’re grateful to Oracle for this opportunity to support engineering education in the Orlando area together with our collaborators at OSC.”

Florida teachers at an EiE workshop at Orlando Science Center.“Orlando Science Center is dedicated to providing our community’s teachers with the training and support they need to make STEM concepts come alive for their students,” says Orlando Science Center President and CEO JoAnn Newman. “We look forward to helping these teachers introduce EiE to their classrooms.”  

This is the third year that Oracle has supported elementary engineering education with a grant to the Museum. In 2014 Oracle supported EiE professional development for elementary educators in California’s Silicon Valley, and last year the Oracle grant targeted elementary teachers in Massachusetts.

The award-winning EiE curriculum is demonstrated to promote educational equity by effectively supporting all children in engineering and science learning. Research by the EiE team and by outside evaluators shows that the curriculum also sparks student interest in science and engineering careers.

“Oracle’s longstanding commitment to STEM and STEAM education has already impacted millions of students worldwide,” said Colleen Cassity, executive director of Oracle Giving & Volunteers and the Oracle Education Foundation. “We’re delighted to continue our collaboration with Engineering is Elementary, an organization that shares in our work to advance engineering education and engage diverse student populations throughout America.”  

Developed with support from the National Science Foundation, EiE is the nation’s most widely used elementary engineering curriculum, reaching an estimated 10 million students to date. The curriculum consists of 20 units that integrate science topics with different engineering fields through inquiry-based learning. The units are introduced by storybooks about children from different cultures and backgrounds around the world who are trying to solve engineering problems; students then solve a similar problem using a five-step engineering design process.

For more information contact Cynthia Berger, 814-574-8017 or Erin Shannon 617-589-0250

About Engineering is Elementary

  • EiE is a project of the Museum of Science, Boston, developed with support from the National Science Foundation.
  • The EiE curriculum includes 20 units that integrate science topics with a specific field of engineering.
  • Through the use of storybooks, EiE introduces students to children from different cultures and backgrounds who are trying to solve engineering problems.
  • EiE students as young as six years old conduct their own experiments to collect the data needed to solve a similar problem using a five-step engineering design process.

About the Museum of Science, Boston

The Museum of Science, Boston is the nation's first science museum with a comprehensive strategy and infrastructure to foster technological literacy in science museums and schools across the United States. Having reached an estimated 10.4 million students and 118,400 educators, its National Center for Technological Literacy® also received the National Science Board's Public Service Award in May 2015. One of the world's largest science centers and Boston's most attended cultural institution, the Museum of Science introduces about 1.4 million visitors a year to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) via dynamic programs and hundreds of interactive exhibits. Founded in 1830, the Museum was first to embrace all the sciences under one roof. Highlights include the Hall of Human Life, Thomson Theater of Electricity, Charles Hayden Planetarium, Mugar Omni Theater, Gordon Current Science & Technology Center, 4-D Theater, and Butterfly Garden.The Science Behind Pixar, created in collaboration with Pixar Animation Studios, has begun a 10-year national tour. The Museum has also led a 10-year, $41 million National Science Foundation-funded Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network of science museums. Visit: http://www.mos.org.

About Orlando Science Center

Located in Orlando, Fla., interactive learning and discovery await within the Science Center’s hundreds of exhibits, programs, labs, films and planetarium shows. The Science Center provides educational opportunities both within and outside its walls including field trips, family science nights at schools and community centers, and other outreach.

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