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Educators Recognized for Excellence In Science, Technology Education

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Educators at the 12th Annual Science and Technology Education Partnership (STEP) Conference to be presented with American flags flown in their honor over the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC

Over 250 teachers will join together in downtown Riverside on Wednesday to help advance science and technology education throughout the region at the 12th annual STEP conference.

Superintendent Dr. Kenn Young of the Riverside County Office of Education will receive the 2011 STEP Award for Outstanding Support and Dedicated Efforts in Improving STEM Education.

Four local teachers will also be recognized as the recipients of the 2011 Science Teacher of the Year award including Riverside County teachers Ziba Mayar and Karin Ribaudo, and San Bernardino County teachers Michelle Dynes and Wendy Rodriguez. Each teacher will be presented with a United States flag that has been flown over the U.S. Capitol Building in their honor.

The awards will be given on the second day of the two-day event focused on providing teachers with strategies and techniques to inspire students to continue pursuing and exploring science, technology, engineering and math education.

“The STEP conference is a great resource for teachers,” said Congressman Ken Calvert, who founded the event in 2000. “The presenters here have a collective wealth of information on how to make science and technology education fun and exciting for students.”

STEP brings together some of the industry’s most knowledgeable professionals to show students and teachers innovative technologies that will shape the future of our nation and economy. Former participants have included former astronauts Dr. Buzz Aldrin and Dr. Sally Ride, as well as local education leaders and technology pioneers.

Since 2000, the STEP conference has reached more than 40,000 Inland Empire students and teachers with the goal of recharging science education in a state where academic performance in math and science continues to lag among students.

The STEP Teacher Program provides educators with new teaching ideas and materials to bring the experience with them back to the classroom. The workshop is led by Dr. Pamela Clute, Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Outreach at University of California, Riverside.

Dr. Clute is a nationally recognized expert in the fields of math and science, serving on several regional and national professional and community boards related to her field of expertise. She also works to extend mathematics education among K-12 students and increase interest in the subject.

Dr. Clute has been honored several times over for her work, most notably receiving the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from the National Science Foundation.

“In a global knowledge-based economy, the success of each citizen and the productivity of our nation depends on reinforcing and expanding our role as a world leader in discovery and innovation,” said Dr. Clute, “Getting students engaged early in science and technology will be the key to that success.”

Local companies, universities, and educators were also on hand to demonstrate new applications of technology throughout the free two-day conference. The event includes a “Discovery Zone” where students can view and interact with handson science exhibits and displays and “Plasma: The Fourth State of Matter,” a live science show featuring Rick and Rigo of General Atomics based out of San Diego. Other exhibitors include Boeing, Aquarium of the Pacific, Kaiser Permanente, and Lego Education.

For more than a decade, STEP has sought to inspire students to pursue careers in math, science, engineering and technology in order to meet future high-tech workforce demands.

For more

information visit, www. myscienceeducation.com.

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