BRIDGING AMERICA'S SCIENCE EDUCATION GAP: Top NYC Science Teachers to Share Best Practices at Science SLAM

The New York Academy of Sciences announces the launch of the NYC Science Education Initiative.

To help address the long decline in science performance by American students, the New York Academy of Sciences is launching an initiative to give science teachers a forum to discuss best educational practices and engage classroom teachers with the scientific community at large. A public "Science Teachers' SLAM" on Tuesday evening, February 23, will mark the kickoff.

The inaugural event in the Academy's new NYC Science Education Initiative will feature New York City science and math educators who will, in 10 minutes each, present their best ideas for how to engage students. Among the presenters, four high school educators are 2009 winners of the Fund for the City of New York Sloan Awards for Excellence in Teaching Science and Mathematics, which recognize high school educators who inspire young people to pursue careers in science and math. Another speaker is a middle school New York City Teaching Fellow. The Science SLAM is open to the public and free to Academy members. It will take place from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm at the New York Academy of Sciences, 7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich St., 40th floor. A networking reception will follow the talks.

WHAT: SCIENCE SLAM - Award-winning NYC science educators presenting best ideas for teaching science in 10 minutes each.

WHERE: The New York Academy of Sciences
7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich St., 40th floor

WHEN: Tuesday, February 23, | 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

A follow-up NYC Science Education Initiative event on Tuesday, March 23, will feature a lecture and workshop led by Sheila Tobias, the widely known science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education scholar and author, on how science teaching can evolve into an independent scientific profession. More events are being scheduled, all with the theme of allowing science teachers to share with each other what they have learned in their classrooms.

The New York Academy of Sciences CEO Ellis Rubinstein said, "The initiative aims to infuse educators with the excitement of ongoing discovery and to promote the teaching of cutting-edge science in New York City schools." He added, "We are inviting New York City science teachers into one of the premiere networks of science in order to keep them current, to allow them to build and cultivate communities, and simply to honor what they do."

The Academy's new NYC Science Education Initiative, with the help of the NYC Department of Education, is inviting up to 1,400 New York City science teachers to join its premiere network of scientists in order to enable science educators to assemble an organic community in which they, like other professional scientist members of the Academy, can share best practices, examine their work, and exchange innovative science education strategies. More than 600 teachers have already taken the Academy up on its offer.

NYC science teachers who take advantage of the free Academy membership offer will be entitled to all benefits of Academy membership and may take part in all Academy events and gain access to all Academy publications produced by or for the Academy's communities of scientists in various scientific disciplines. Through their participation in the Academy, educators will be able to stay current on the state of scientific knowledge and breakthrough research, and they will be able to build relationships with scientists in their fields of specialization—bonds that could yield opportunities for them and their students.

The NYC Science Education Initiative is being spearheaded by a steering committee of NYC science educators and a NYC Department of Education advisor in collaboration with Academy staff who are establishing new tools and programs to allow science teachers to collaborate, share best practices, engage in professional networking, and discuss the direction of their profession. Through the initiative, the Academy will host regular events targeted at educators' interests, and disseminate the content of those events online. The Academy has also launched an online calendar featuring frequently updated listings of science teaching events and resources in New York City, with an associated monthly email for science teachers.

For more information on the NYC Science Education Initiative, or to register for either event, please see the Academy's website. Media must register in advance by contacting Adrienne Burke at aburke@nyas.org or 212.298.8655.

The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide since 1817. With 24,000 members in 140 countries, NYAS is creating a global community of science for the benefit of humanity. NYAS' core mission is to advance scientific knowledge, positively impact the major global challenges of society with science-based solutions, and increase the number of scientifically informed individuals in society at large