Teachers play a very important role in inspiring young people to take upper-level math and science classes and grow a passion and commitment to pursue science careers. To this end, the Perot Museum recently announced a novel program for classroom educators, the Kosmos Energy STEM Teacher Institute. This program is sponsored by Dallas-based Kosmos Energy and it is intended to improve formal science instruction quality for K-12 grade teachers and increase engagement and interest among students in technology, science, engineering and math (STEM).
“Based upon teachers’ innate love of teaching and their passion for inspiring students, we wanted to give them an opportunity to do that with respect to science and math. The Kosmos Energy STEM Teacher Institute is going to provide teachers with access to wonderful instruction, year-round mentoring and resources that will boost their skills and help them change students’ perceptions of STEM subjects. This extraordinary gift from Kosmos Energy will have long-lasting effects that will change the lives — and future careers — of both teachers and young people,” noted Colleen Walker, CEO of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
“We are pleased to support the Perot Museum’s efforts to raise the quality of STEM education in our home community, as well as inspire students to pursue careers in these fields. Our success in finding and developing oil and gas over the last decade has been built on our expertise in the STEM disciplines, and we know how important these subjects are to both our industry and the nation. This program aims to provide teachers with the professional development and resources needed to give all of our children the best education possible,” said Andrew Inglis, who is Kosmos Energy’s chairman and CEO.
The goal is to give teachers the tools, knowledge, creativity and enthusiasm to increase their students’ interest and engagement for STEM subjects.
“A combined lack of student engagement in STEM subjects and a shortage of qualified STEM teachers have contributed to a STEM crisis in our country,” noted Walker. “As a result, U.S. students are falling dangerously behind in STEM subjects, creating serious concerns for workforce development in companies and industries where the U.S. was once a leader.”
A considerable number of students choose not to study STEM, and according to Walker, this might be closely related to a lack of teacher preparedness in the classroom. This alarming trend can only be solved by ensuring that both students and teachers are ready for success in math and science. According to previous studies, those that engaged at an early age in school are more likely to pursue science careers.
The program aims to positively impact more than 4,800 students during the 2015-2016 school year. Expected results include a considerable improvement in teachers’ science content competence, knowledge, creativity, confidence and consistency in science instruction.