Perot Museum expanded teacher training program aims to build
confidence and competence in teachers while ultimately increasing
interest among students in STEM classes and careers
DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul. 13, 2015--
Recognizing that teachers play a crucial role in inspiring young people
to take upper-level science classes and pursue science careers, the
Perot Museum today unveiled a new program targeted at classroom
educators called the Kosmos Energy STEM Teacher Institute.
The innovative program sponsored by Dallas-based Kosmos Energy is
designed to measurably improve the quality of formal science instruction
for participating K-12th grade teachers and increase interest
and engagement among their students in science, technology, engineering
and math (STEM).
“Based upon teachers’ innate love of teaching and their passion for
inspiring students, we wanted to give them an opportunity to do that
with respect to science and math. The Kosmos Energy STEM Teacher
Institute is going to provide teachers with access to wonderful
instruction, year-round mentoring and resources that will boost their
skills and help them change students’ perceptions of STEM subjects,”
said Colleen Walker, Eugene McDermott chief executive officer of the
Perot Museum of Nature and Science. “This extraordinary gift from Kosmos
Energy will have long-lasting effects that will change the lives – and
future careers – of both teachers and young people.”
“We are pleased to support the Perot Museum’s efforts to raise the
quality of STEM education in our home community, as well as inspire
students to pursue careers in these fields. Our success in finding and
developing oil and gas over the last decade has been built on our
expertise in the STEM disciplines, and we know how important these
subjects are to both our industry and the nation,” said Andrew G.
Inglis, Kosmos Energy’s chairman and chief executive officer. “This
program aims to provide teachers with the professional development and
resources needed to give all of our children the best education
The goal of the joint program is to equip teachers – from pre-service to
advanced – with the knowledge, tools, creativity and enthusiasm to
increase interest and engagement among their students in STEM subjects.
The program was revealed today at The Hockaday School in the Lyda
Hill STEM Institute wing, where approximately 130 teachers are
undergoing intense training at four weeklong sessions that began July 6.
Around 160 teachers are expected to eventually participate in the
program this inaugural year.
“A combined lack of student engagement in STEM subjects and a shortage
of qualified STEM teachers have contributed to a STEM crisis in our
country,” added Walker. “As a result, U.S. students are falling
dangerously behind in STEM subjects, creating serious concerns for
workforce development in companies and industries where the U.S. was
once a leader.”
Science education has suffered for a number of reasons. Many U.S.
students choose to opt out of science classes in high school and
college. Additionally, almost all elementary school teachers and nearly
one-third of middle and high school science teachers are teaching “out
of field” and/or are uncertified in math and science instruction.
In Texas, elementary educators are not required to be certified in math
and science to teach these subjects. Also, K-5 teachers in Texas
historically have not placed huge emphasis on science because state
testing for science doesn’t start until 5th grade and many
teachers are intimidated by the subject. However, the Kosmos Energy
STEM Teacher Institute aims to create a network of teachers – up to
grade 12 – that will provide a chain of support and help “generalist”
teachers feel more comfortable and confident in teaching science.
Walker notes that issues of student engagement and teacher preparedness
are intimately related, and the STEM crisis can only be resolved through
a comprehensive approach which ensures both students and teachers are
prepared for success. Studies show that if engaged at an early age in
school, students are more likely to pursue science in high school and
college, potentially leading to careers in STEM fields.
The program, which got underway this spring, involved a formal
application process for teachers to ensure they are invested and
committed. Chosen teachers from across the Dallas/Fort Worth area attend
a weeklong Summer Academy at The Hockaday School, where they’re grouped
according to their level of comfort and expertise in science –
Pre-Service Teachers, Novice Teachers, Advanced Teachers and Mentor
Teachers – rather than by grade level.
Instruction continues through the academic year with five professional
development sessions held weekends twice a month, for which they’ll
receive continuing education credits required for teachers by the Texas
Education Agency. The teachers also will be mentored throughout the
The program is expected to indirectly affect over 4,800 students during
the 2015-2016 school year. Expected outcomes include significantly
increasing teachers’ science content knowledge, competence, confidence,
creativity and consistency in science instruction.
The Kosmos Energy STEM Teacher Institute builds upon the existing Leaders
In Science (LIS) professional training program that Perot
Museum staffers have operated the past four years within Dallas ISD. The
LIS program will end June 2016 and roll into this program.
“Leaders in Science is a tremendous program that delivered strong
results and taught us a great deal, but the Kosmos Energy STEM
Teacher Institute takes that concept to a much higher and broader
level,” said Walker.
The Kosmos Energy STEM Teacher Institute is a product of the
Perot Museum and made possible in part by Kosmos Energy, the Institute
of Museum and Library Services grant number MA-10-14-0265-14, the
Community Impact Fund of The Dallas Foundation, Alliance Data and
ExxonMobil. Find more information about the Kosmos Energy STEM
Teacher Institute at perotmuseum.org/STEMTeacherInstitute.
About the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. A top
destination for North Texans and tourists alike, the Perot Museum of
Nature and Science is a nonprofit educational organization located in
the heart of Dallas, Texas, with campuses in Victory Park and Fair Park.
With a mission to inspire minds through nature and science, the Perot
Museum delivers exciting, engaging and innovative visitor and outreach
experiences through its education, exhibition, and research and
collections programming for children, students, teachers, families and
life-long learners. The 180,000-square-foot facility in Victory Park
opened in December 2012 and is now recognized as the symbolic gateway to
the Dallas Arts District. The Museum features 11 permanent exhibit halls
on five floors of public space; a children’s museum; a state-of-the art
traveling exhibition hall; and The Hoglund Foundation Theater, a
National Geographic Experience. Future scientists, mathematicians and
engineers will find inspiration and enlightenment through breathtaking
collections, interactive exhibits, multimedia presentations and vivid
contextual displays that expose visitors to a hands-on world of ideas
and concepts. Designed by 2005 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate Thom
Mayne and his firm Morphosis Architects, the Victory Park Museum has
been lauded for its artistry and sustainability. To learn more, please
About Kosmos Energy. Kosmos Energy is a leading
independent oil and gas exploration and production company focused on
frontier and emerging areas along the Atlantic Margin. Our assets
include existing production and other major development projects
offshore Ghana, as well as exploration licenses with significant
hydrocarbon potential offshore Ireland,
Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Senegal, Suriname, and Western Sahara. As
an ethical and transparent company, Kosmos is committed to doing things
the right way. The company’s Business
Principles articulate our commitment to transparency, ethics,
human rights, safety and the environment. Read more about this
commitment in the Kosmos 2014
Corporate Responsibility Report. Kosmos is listed on the New
York Stock Exchange and is traded under the ticker symbol KOS. For
additional information, visit www.kosmosenergy.com.
About the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The
Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of
federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums.
Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation,
lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making,
policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver
valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals
to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov
and follow IMLS on Facebook
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Source: Kosmos Energy
For Kosmos Energy
Becky Mayad, 214-352-1881