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NMSI Launches GM New Teacher Academy Houston to Empower First-Year STEM Teachers of Color

Initiative aims to enhance diversity and excellence in STEM education through critical training and resources for 120 early-career STEM educators of color.

The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) and General Motors (GM), in collaboration with teachHOUSTON, announce the launch of the GM New Teacher Academy Houston. This groundbreaking initiative, supported by a generous $500,000 contribution from GM and an additional $100,000 from CenterPoint Energy, will provide essential professional development and support for up to120 early career STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) teachers of color.

“Through our partnership with General Motors and CenterPoint Energy, we are committed to fostering diversity and excellence in STEM education,” said Jeremy Anderson, CEO of NMSI. “Initiatives like the GM New Teacher Academy are crucial for investing in the future of education, ensuring that all students, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, have the opportunity to thrive in STEM fields.”

In the U.S., more than 50% of students in public schools identify as non-white, yet only 21% of public school teachers are from diverse backgrounds. This disparity is even more pronounced in STEM fields, which are projected to grow faster and offer higher-paying jobs than other occupations. Teachers of color play a critical role in advocating for students from similar backgrounds, helping to bridge this representation gap and fostering inclusive educational environments.

“At GM, we understand the pivotal role educators play in shaping the future of technology and innovation,” said Kelsey Gaines (she/her), Senior Manager, STEM Education at GM. “By supporting the GM New Teacher Academy, we are investing not only in teachers, but also in a diverse and talented workforce that will propel our industry forward. We are proud to partner with NMSI on this essential initiative.”

This initiative is a critical milestone in NMSI’s strategic commitment to enhancing diversity and excellence in STEM education. It aligns with the broader goals of the STEMM Opportunity Alliance and the You Belong in STEM initiatives by the White House. Through this effort, NMSI is dedicated to providing high-quality, evidence-based professional development to 4,800 STEM teachers identifying as Black, Latino, or Indigenous by 2027.

June Deadrick, CenterPoint Energy Vice President of Community Relations, emphasized the importance of supporting new teachers in STEM. “CenterPoint Energy Foundation is proud to contribute to advancing STEM education through the GM New Teacher Academy. This initiative aligns with our commitment to educational equity and community empowerment.”

The GM New Teacher Academy Houston training will be held from June 25-28, 2024, at the University of Houston campus. This event will feature esteemed speakers and hands-on training sessions designed to equip new teachers with the skills and confidence to excel in their careers and positively impact their students.

Event Highlights:

  • Date: June 25-28, 2024
  • Locations: Hilton, University of Houston, Melcher Hall, Classrooms & Business Building, and Science Teaching Lab at The University of Houston.
  • Opening Keynote: Rebecca Peterson, 2023 National Teacher of the Year, will set the stage with an inspiring address about creating a connected STEM classroom.
  • Training Sessions: NMSI’s expert facilitators will conduct comprehensive professional development workshops on innovative teaching strategies and mastery of STEM content.
  • Closing Dinner: The academy will include a celebratory dinner at Space Center Houston, featuring a keynote by Bernard Harris, Jr., former NMSI CEO and astronaut.
  • Media Availability: Bernard Harris, Jr., and Rebecca Peterson will be available for interviews. Media representatives are encouraged to RSVP to secure interview slots.

Amanda Campos, executive director of the New Teacher Academy at the University of Houston, teachHOUSTON expressed her enthusiasm for hosting the event. “The University of Houston is honored to host the GM New Teacher Academy. Our Houston program is dedicated to developing the next generation of STEM educators, and this partnership with NMSI and GM perfectly aligns with our mission to support and uplift teachers of color.”

For more information on how to support early-career STEM teachers in your community, contact NMSI or visit https://www.nms.org/.

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

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