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Instructors sought to fill math, science teaching void

By Amanda Miller - Decision Times

A pilot program in greater Philadelphia aims to serve as the model for swiftly certifying military instructors to be "STEM"-discipline teachers in the region's public schools.

The Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center hopes by September to recruit Navy instructors to become science, technology, engineering and math teachers in the five-county area. Its objective is to improve advanced manufacturing in the region, starting with high-tech education, particularly in K-12 schools.

The two-part program reflects what the American Association for Colleges of Teacher Education characterizes as an urgent need nationwide — more, better trained teachers to address students' lagging performance in math and the sciences, according to a 2006 report profiling collegiate teacher-education programs.

The Navy focus of the Philadelphia-area project is a nod to its beneficiary, the Lenfest Foundation, established by H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, a former Navy captain.

"We want to draw out 12 individuals from the Navy with teaching and instruction experience in STEM-related fields," said John H. Dixon, the Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center's manager of STEM initiatives.

The program will provide some financial assistance to help offset the costs of teacher certification, Dixon said.

For more information about the program, send an e-mail to Dixon at jdixon@dvirc.org.

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