MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- Marilyn Fox was one of only 50 teachers from across the country selected from some 1,000 applicants to take part in an innovative program in Washington, D.C. this summer.
Fox, an eighth grade science teacher at Anthony Middle School in Manhattan, spent a week at the Siemens STEM Institute.
She spent the week of July 29-August 3 at the world headquarters of Discovery Communications, the parent company of the Discovery Channel, Science and Animal Planet.
The highly-exclusive professional development opportunity offered by the Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education and the College Board.
"What they were trying to do is help teachers better prepare students to be interested and excited about STEM careers and STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math and one of the speakers told us that there is not a job shortage. There are plenty of jobs. There just aren’t enough people going into those areas to fill the technical jobs, the skilled labor jobs so they want us to try to encourage the kids to know what these careers are and help them prepare for that," Fox told WIBW.
She worked with leading scientists, thought-leaders, personalities and innovators in the science world.
Guest speakers, including Reed Timmer, Discovery Education's chief meteorologist, and Dr. Roosevelt Johnson, deputy associate administrator for education at NASA, along with field trips to leading institutions of STEM innovation, such as the White House and the National Museum of Natural History, introduced the fellows to real-world STEM applications and provided opportunities for networking and collaboration with peers from across the nation.
"It’s an emphasis which hasn’t been around for a while. It’s an emphasis in science, technology, engineering and math and it starts in grade school and middle school and high school. It doesn’t start when they’re in college so they want to get this grassroots, groundswell of support for this... One of the things that I most like about what they said is that they want kids to be creators not consumers. They can download an app but maybe they should design an app so it’s a difference between being a consumer and being a creator and somebody that knows how to do that," she said.
As the push for STEM education continues to grow, Fox is bringing what she learned to her classroom and integrating new concepts into her teaching.