Under a grant from the Office of Naval Research, Battelle will launch the Manufacturing & Engineering Externship Program to place teachers in two states inside manufacturing and engineering businesses to create new problem-based lessons for their classrooms. The $1.03 million award funds stipends to educators and recruitment through the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network and Ohio STEM Learning Network.
An initial pilot group of Tennessee teachers will test the program during the summer of 2019. Full recruitment in Tennessee begins the 2019-2020 school year. Ohio educators will join the following year. In total, the program will reach 160 educators.
Great educators work constantly to bring connections to the world outside of the classroom into their teaching, said Aimee Kennedy, Senior Vice-President for Education and Philanthropy at Battelle. With this award, teachers will find and share new connections between academic content and real-world solutions.
Over the course of the externship experience, each teacher will embed at a local manufacturing or engineering business. Following their experiences at their industry host site, the teacher will design and pilot a new problem-based learning experience for students. Battelle will support participating teachers with year-long training on problem-based learning. The program was designed to address the growing skills gap in STEM industries, with a focus on the advanced manufacturing field.
Bridging the gap between the demands of industry and the content and skills taught in the classroom is the key to developing a robust manufacturing workforce, said Denise Rice, Director of the Tennessee Manufacturers Association. Through the unique Project Based Learning approach, Battelle will ensure that students are exposed to the manufacturing technologies and develop the problem-solving skills and careers interests to successfully pursue post-secondary manufacturing opportunities.
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The Office of Naval Research issued the award to Battelle Education, a nonprofit subsidiary of Battelle, created to drive innovation in education. Battelle Education and the STEM networks support Battelle’s commitment to quality STEM education.
Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries. For more information, visit www.battelle.org.