2009 SIEMENS TEACHER SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED
Million Dollar Program Inspires Students At Nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Future Science Teachers Reach Hundreds of Elementary Students Nationwide
Iselin, NJ, February 23, 2009 /PRNewswire/ — Today the Siemens Foundation announced the winners of the 2009 Siemens Teacher Scholarships in collaboration with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). The program provides recognition and financial support to students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) who plan to become science or math teachers. Many Siemens Teacher Scholars gain their first interactive classroom teaching experience through the Siemens Foundation's Siemens Science Day program (www.siemensscienceday.com), a nationwide initiative in partnership with Discovery Education that has reached more than 50,000 elementary and middle school students since its inception in 2006. By participating in Siemens Science Days, Siemens Teacher Scholars are able to share their passion for math and science and gain a unique and concrete teaching experience.
"Considering our new administration's call to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, our programs to promote the growth of teaching careers are more pertinent than ever," said Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, Vice President of the Siemens Foundation and graduate of Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA, one of the country's 105 HBCUs. "By providing the tools and resources to students who have expressed a genuine interest in teaching math and science, we get a step closer to increasing the number of teachers and role models for our next generation of leaders," she said.
On January 5, 2009, brothers Joshua and Adam Wright, seniors at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, conducted a Siemens Science Day for five classes of fifth graders at University of Chicago Laboratory School, the former school of President Obama's daughters, Malia and Sasha. The future teachers worked together to instruct each class on the process of photosynthesis. As Adam Wright, a computer engineering major said, "My Siemens Science Day presentation was one of the most enjoyable experiences in my short lifetime. Interacting with students who were eager to learn about plants, sun and energy was very encouraging for the future."
"The Siemens Foundation's philanthropic investment to increase the number of minority teachers in the STEM areas is in an investment in the future of our country," said Dwayne Ashley, president and CEO, TMCF. "We are proud to join forces with a partner who is committed to the discovery and excitement of science education. The leadership at Siemens understands that in a globally competitive economy, we must invest in the next generation of teachers who will nurture research and innovation in the sciences with future generations to solve some of the world's greatest challenges." The Siemens Foundation has provided $1 million in scholarships to support undergraduate and graduate students through the Siemens Teacher Scholarship program. The funds are awarded and administered by TMCF and UNCF. This year, 29 students will receive scholarships. HBCUs play a vital role in meeting America's need to increase and diversify science teaching professionals.
"Siemens' commitment to promoting the development and training of future leaders in science among under-represented groups demonstrates its leadership and its understanding of the importance of preparing this nation to be able to compete in the global economy," said Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., UNCF President and CEO. "Siemens' investment in the future of science and education will enable these HBCU students to become the research scientists, professors and teachers of tomorrow."
Lindsey R. Rutledge, a scholarship recipient and sophomore attending Howard University, said: "I truly believe that my destiny is to work with youth as an educator. I believe that becoming a teacher is a special calling and should not be viewed as 'just a job.' Teachers must want to add to the students' educational experience. They must be sensitive to any challenges students may have; this special position just does not begin and end with the ringing of the school bell. You must be passionate about being a teacher."
Click here for a full list of the 2009 Siemens Teacher Scholars.
About the Siemens Foundation
The Siemens Foundation provides more than $7 million annually in support of educational initiatives in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math in the United States. Its signature programs, the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology and Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement, reward exceptional achievement in science, math and technology. The newest program, The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, encourages K 12 students to develop innovative green solutions for environmental issues. By supporting outstanding students today, and recognizing the teachers and schools that inspire their excellence, the Foundation helps nurture tomorrow's scientists and engineers. The Foundation's mission is based on the culture of innovation, research and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens' U.S. companies and its parent company, Siemens AG. For more information, visit http://www.siemens-foundation.org.