PhET Interactive Simulations, a University of Colorado Boulder project, launches its inaugural PhET Fellowship program, welcoming 32 Fellows—15 from Africa, and 17 from Latin America—to support the promotion of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects in schools and universities across Africa and Latin America. This program is part of the PhET Global initiative, supported by the Yidan Prize Foundation as part of the prize project activities of 2020 Laureate Professor Carl Wieman.
These Fellows are teacher leaders in secondary or tertiary education—who will promote robust teacher communities and advance students’ access to quality STEM education—reaching at least 1,600 teachers across the two continents. Together, they will accelerate the uptake of research-based math and science teaching and learning approaches through PhET simulations, build a community of local STEM experts, and reach thousands of students—giving rise to future generations of STEM professionals.
Professor Carl Wieman, founder of PhET Interactive Simulations, and a Yidan Prize and Nobel Prize laureate, said: “Education and the ability to think scientifically are fundamental for people to learn how to make better decisions and be more successful in all aspects of their lives. Through this Fellowship program, we are nurturing a pool of local talent to advocate for a scientific approach to teaching maths and science. We especially want the most marginalized students to benefit from high-quality STEM education, so that they are better prepared to face the challenges of tomorrow.”
The PhET Fellowship will support each participating individual’s pedagogical and leadership growth for 18 months, as they continue in their full-time roles in education. The program will take place in two phases—with 80+ hours of professional learning to build skills and knowledge of PhET resources, and 70+ hours of professional leadership practice to support teachers’ use of PhET simulations across their regions.
Edward Ma, Secretary-General of the Yidan Prize Foundation, said: “Carl and the PhET team have been creating new possibilities through digital STEM education for two decades. They apply the science of learning to equip learners around the world with skills to think like a scientist. The Yidan Prize Foundation is very proud to support PhET’s new Fellowship program. We hope that more schools and teachers will see the value of engaging learners through research-based STEM education, and accelerate its adoption across Africa and Latin America.”
Teachers can get more than 3,000 lesson plans and homework assignments created by other teachers for free by registering for a PhET account. Learn more and join their webinars, workshops and programs.
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