Lilly collaborates with BioCrossroads and I-STEM Resource Network and takes a stake in new educational initiative
Indianapolis, October 2, 2008 — According to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development’s “Hoosier Hot 50 Jobs”, Indiana workers will be needed to fill more than 46,000 new jobs related to the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines (health care professionals, laboratory researchers, computer science analysts, engineers, etc.) by 2014.
In order to help position Indiana’s students to take advantage of these future job opportunities in the life and health sciences, a statewide task force of business and education leaders, including the Indiana Department of Education, will be creating a strategic plan to reform science education in Indiana’s K-12 schools. Through a collaboration with BioCrossroads and the I-STEM Resource Network, Eli Lilly and Company, through its Foundation, will support this new initiative, providing funding and scientific consultants to work on the project.
The task force has engaged the National Science Resources Center (NSRC), an affiliate of The National Academies and the Smithsonian Institute, to help build a comprehensive plan for science education reform in Indiana. Lilly will provide financial support for the NSRC to research and write a strategic plan for the state’s efforts to reform science education in a multi-year effort. Support from Lilly will also include the participation of Lilly scientists in the development of this plan as well as ongoing support for science teachers across Indiana as they develop a hands-on, inquiry-based approach to teaching science.
“Working in a collaborative way to strengthen science education is critically important to current and future generations of students and to the economic well-being of our state,” said Robert L. Smith, president of the Lilly Foundation. “This is particularly true given the significant and growing opportunities in STEM-related fields in Indiana. The Lilly Foundation is pleased to be playing a role in this important work. In addition, many Lilly scientists are eager to help, including working with teachers in the classroom on real-life applications of science.”
“Lilly’s generous philanthropic support and skill-based volunteer commitment are huge boosts to our efforts. Having both the business and academic sectors involved is critical to Indiana’s educational success,” said Anne Shane, vice president of BioCrossroads. “We’re making a lot of progress to further develop science and math education throughout the state through the I-STEM Resource Network programs and other educational initiatives like the Woodrow Wilson Fellowships, Teach for America, and The New Teacher Project. The strategic plan for science education reform will bolster the work already in progress.”
The I-STEM Resource Network, a consortium of the state’s higher education institutions focused on strong K-12 STEM education in Indiana, is leading the science education reform planning. The Network is currently providing professional development programs for middle school mathematics teachers, focusing on algebra and geometry concepts, and is embarking on an initiative for additional training in the areas of technology and engineering for teachers throughout the state.
The first phase of the science initiative will take place in December when the task force of business and education leaders from across the state will analyze the current status of science education in Indiana and then determine a strategic plan to move Indiana to the forefront of K-12 science education in the United States.
BioCrossroads (www.biocrossroads.com) is Indiana’s initiative to grow the life sciences, a public-private collaboration that supports the region’s research and corporate strengths while encouraging new business development. BioCrossroads provides money and support to life sciences businesses, launches new life sciences businesses (Indiana Health Information Exchange, Monarch LifeSciences, Fairbanks Institute for Healthy Communities, BioCrossroadsLINX, and Datalys Center) expands collaboration and partnerships among Indiana’s life science institutions, promotes science education and markets Indiana’s life sciences industry.
About I-STEM Resource Network
The I-STEM Resource Network (www.istemnetwork.org) is a partnership of 17 Indiana public and private higher education institutions, K-12 schools, business, and government. It supports K–12 teachers and leaders working to implement high academic standards towards STEM literacy for all students. It also provides Indiana education leaders with new knowledge about teaching and learning.