November 4, 2020
In the current school year, classrooms across the country are incorporating some form of virtual learning. Teachers are facing a heightened need for ways to actively engage students in STEM virtually. To meet this need, AEOP and the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) have teamed up with Scholastic to increase eCYBERMISSION participation. This new program will work to develop educational materials and grow eCYBERMISSION engagement among teachers who serve Title 1 districts – the nation’s largest federally funded educational program, providing supplemental funds to school districts with the highest concentrations of students underrepresented in STEM – and schools near military bases. The new microsite is finally live; check it out at www.scholastic.com/ecybermission!
It is AEOP’s mission to create a diverse, STEM-literate citizenry and to connect all students, particularly those from groups underrepresented in STEM, with STEM learning opportunities. By joining efforts with Scholastic, we hope to expand eCYBERMISSION to a host of STEM learners across the country and introduce more students to the exciting world of STEM!
Read the full release, below or find a downloadble version here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AEOP Teams Up with Scholastic to Expand, Diversify eCYBERMISSION Participation
High-quality, virtual programming poised to increase participation by underrepresented students in STEM
(November 4, 2020) – As schools remain closed amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, AEOP (the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program) is launching a new initiative with Scholastic to encourage more educators to implement the web-based eCYBERMISSION competition in their classrooms. eCYBERMISSION, a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) competition for students in grades six through nine, is sponsored by the U.S. Army and administered by the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA). Students participating in eCYBERMISSION cultivate their interests in STEM and work in virtual teams where they are challenged to explore how STEM works in their world, while working together to better their communities using scientific inquiry and engineering design methods.
Scholastic will collaborate with the NSTA to directly engage teachers and reach out to military dependents to ensure that participation in this competitive program reflects our nation’s demographics, with a particular emphasis on inspiring underrepresented STEM talent. Though the proportion of Americans employed in STEM fields has grown, the STEM workforce remains overwhelmingly white and Asian. According to the Pew Research Center, while African Americans make up 11 percent of the U.S. workforce, they only represent 9 percent of STEM workers, and while Hispanics comprise 16 percent of the workforce, they only represent 7 percent of the STEM workforce.
“While it is still unclear what schooling will look like in the year ahead, we know that the work we accomplish with Scholastic will help expand student access to high-quality STEM programming,” said Jack Meyer, STEM And Workforce Senior Analyst with the Office of the DASA(R&T). “We’re excited about this new initiative, which is crucial to AEOP’s continued commitment to foster a STEM-literate citizenry.”
Launched this summer, the program will focus on the development of materials that are designed exclusively for teachers who serve Title 1 districts and schools near military bases. The classroom materials – which will be remote-ready – will utilize the scientific method, helping students utilize systems thinking and problem-solving real world challenges with an engineering mindset. Title 1 is the nation’s largest federally funded educational program, providing supplemental funds to school districts with the highest concentrations of underrepresented students.
“We’re thrilled to be working with AEOP and specifically the eCYBERMISSION competition,” said Ann Amstutz Hayes, Senior Vice President of Scholastic National Partnerships. “As more and more educators look for innovative, hands-on learning opportunities, eCYBERMISSION is a wonderful way for teachers to bring STEM to life for students. We believe the competition’s design as a virtual program that supports community-focused solutions will appeal to our teachers and their students—and that our educators will easily be able to integrate the competition into their learning plans for the year ahead, and beyond.”
When completed, teachers will have access to a cohesive set of STEM-focused activities that guide students through the engineering design process, helping them harness creative problem-solving and teamwork skills to develop a contest entry. The step-by-step materials will allow students—even those who are learning remotely—to complete projects on their own.
The U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) is comprised of U.S. Army-sponsored research, education, competitions, internships, and practical experiences designed to engage and guide students and teachers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). From elementary school through graduate school and beyond, students and teachers at all levels, interests, ethnic, economic, proficiency levels and academic backgrounds are encouraged to participate real-world STEM experiences while also engaging with U.S. Army-sponsored mentors. More information is available at: www.usaeop.com.
For 100 years, Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) has been encouraging the personal and intellectual growth of all children, beginning with literacy. Having earned a reputation as a trusted partner to educators and families, Scholastic is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, a leading provider of literacy curriculum, professional services, and classroom magazines, and a producer of educational and entertaining children’s media. The Company creates and distributes bestselling books and e-books, print and technology-based learning programs for pre-K to grade 12, and other products and services that support children’s learning and literacy, both in school and at home. With 15 international operations and exports to 165 countries, Scholastic makes quality, affordable books available to all children around the world through school-based book clubs and book fairs, classroom libraries, school and public libraries, retail, and online. Learn more at www.scholastic.com.
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The eCYBERMISSION Mini-Grant is intended to support teachers/program leaders as they implement eCYBERMISSION with their teams. Educators (formal and informal) of students in grades 6-9 are encouraged to apply. Special consideration is given to Title 1 schools and to those with underserved/ under-represented populations.