A new book from AAAS and the National Science Foundation (NSF), The Power of Partnerships,documents the lessons learned from an innovative program that put science graduate students in K-12 classrooms.
The book is a guide for organizations, groups or individuals who want to create projects that partner graduate students or other professionals in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields with K-12 teachers. The recommendations come from participants in the NSF-funded Graduate STEM Fellows in K-12 Education Program, also known as GK-12, that ran from 1999 through 2012.
At a 22 July breakfast event at AAAS celebrating the book's release, speakers explained that although the publication represents the official completion of the GK-12 program, it is just one part of the program's legacy. Ultimately, the program impacted more than 11,000 graduate student fellows, 12,000 K-12 teachers and 700,000 students, said Joan Ferrini-Mundy, NSF assistant director for Education and Human Resources.
The fellows in particular "are the gift that will keep on giving," said Shirley Malcom, AAAS Education and Human Resources director. "Over time, we're going to need them in order to be able to realize the kind of movement that it's really going to take for us to achieve what we need to achieve in STEM education."
Specifically, meeting the challenges of implementing the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards will require partnerships with "those who are young, enthusiastic and know what a classroom is like", Malcom said. "This is an all-hands-on-deck issue," she continued. "And so having these fellows, I think, will be incredibly important."