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Obama Announces Funding for Science Teachers; Plus: Professional Development Opportunities

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Obama Announces Funding for Science and Math Teachers

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The White House announced Tuesday a series of new grants for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers and programs.

According to a White House release, Obama will request $80 million in his budget proposal to be released on Feb. 13 for a competitive grant program for STEM teacher preparation programs. Obama also plans to devote a portion of the $300 million Teacher Incentive Fund specifically toward state and local efforts to improve pay, evaluations and professional development for STEM teachers.

“When students excel in math and science, they help America compete for the jobs and industries of the future,” Obama said in a statement. He called for the United States to produce 100,000 effective STEM teachers in the next decade. The White House also announced that private organizations, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will donate $22 million to supplement those efforts.

The president's budget will include a $100 million investment by the Nation Science Foundation to improve undergraduate postsecondary programs focused on STEM fields. In his budget, Obama will also outline a partnership between the foundation and the U.S. Department of Education, with $30 million in funding from each, to scale up "evidence-based approaches to improve student learning at K-12 and undergraduate levels," according to the White House.

The Education Department will also continue to emphasize STEM efforts in future applications for Race To The Top funding, according to the administration


Teachers for Global Classrooms (TGC) Courses

IREX is excited to announce the new application cycle for Teachers for Global Classrooms (TGC)!  TGC is a professional development opportunity for middle and high school teachers from the United States, with the goal of providing teachers with the skills and experience to promote global education in their classrooms and schools.  The Teachers for Global Classrooms Program (TGC) features an online course aimed at globalizing U.S. classrooms, two Global Education Symposia, and international travel.  Participants are selected through a national, open competition. TGC is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) administered by IREX (the International Research & Exchanges Board).  Please see the program page on the IREX website for further information:

If you or your colleagues have any questions about this new application cycle, please contact  


Announcement: 2012 CDC Science Ambassador Workshop
CDC’s Scientific Education and Professional Development Program Office is pleased to announce the 2012 CDC Science Ambassador Workshop — an opportunity for middle and high school science educators to share in a dynamic learning experience. The workshop will be held at CDC headquarters in Atlanta from July 16 through July 20, 2012. We are now accepting portfolios for consideration.

CDC Science Ambassador Workshop links public health science to classroom instruction. This is an excellent opportunity for science educators to work closely with CDC scientists during an intensive 5-day workshop to bring new and innovative science and public health materials to the classroom.

This workshop features a variety of sessions on public health topics, and educators will work in teams with CDC scientists to create engaging lesson plans. These lesson plans not only meet National Science Education standards, but also challenge students to think about science in new ways, and to apply science to current health and safety issues. Once the lesson plans have been published on CDC’s Science Ambassador Workshop website, educators across the United States and internationally may implement them in their classrooms.

To be considered for participation, educators are encouraged to submit the following information to the Science Ambassador Workshop contact at the email address listed below:

  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • Two letters of support (principal and science department chair)
  • A personal statement explaining why you are interested in the program, your expectations, and how you plan to use the workshop lesson plans (500 word limit)
  • Sample of a lesson plan you have developed
  • Copy of current teaching certificate

Educators will be responsible for travel and lodging expenses for the workshop. Those who complete and meet the expectations of the workshop will earn three (3) Professional Learning Units. This is a competitive program and space is limited — 16 educators will be selected for participation.

Please share this information, early, with any of your colleagues who may be interested. Deadline for submission is Friday, March 30, 2012. Those selected for participation will be notified by April 27, 2012.  
Website and Contact Information
CDC Science Ambassador Workshop website
Esther Shisoka, MPH
(404) 498-6359