During the 21st Annual RE-SEED Conference at Northeastern University yesterday some of our country’s finest Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Retirees – from such companies as Raytheon, Draper Laboratory, Hewlett Packard, Bell Labs and more – were recognized for their years of volunteer service in elementary, middle and high school classrooms where they support the teaching and learning of science, math and engineering concepts.
For 24 years RE-SEED has recruited, trained and placed Retired STEM Professionals in longstanding partnerships with schools and teachers. Since the program’s inception RE-SEED has trained hundreds of volunteers who have offered close to 850,000 hours of support to more than 150,000 students in over 125 school districts throughout 14 states around the country.
An independent, third-party evaluation of RE-SEED in 2013 demonstrated teachers and students find the program of great value in relating STEM concepts in the classroom. The vast majority of teachers and students stated RE-SEED volunteers substantially increased student interest and performance in STEM. Charity Murphy, Science Teacher at The Curly K-8 School, who has had two RE-SEED volunteers in her classroom, stated it best: “When our RE-SEED volunteer, Mr. Burton, enters the classroom, he brings joy to the eyes of the kids – they want to ask him questions immediately. He helps me launch new lessons and is always there to add to the teaching. For every lesson I teach he has new information to share with the kids. I think we need more programs like this. Anything that helps people pay it forward to support the next generation scientist is important.”
Teachers, volunteers, and community partners celebrated the program’s success while discussing the revisions to Massachusetts’ adoption of Next Generation Science Standards. RE-SEED Co-founder and Executive Director, Professor Christos Zahopoulos who is also a member of the MA Science & Technology/Engineering Standards Advisory Board and Dr. Jacob Foster, Assistant Director of STEM, MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) presented the integration of engineering with science in the new standards. Massachusetts is leading the country in adopting engineering into K-12 curriculum, and RE-SEED volunteers are poised support the implementation.