David Hanych, Program Director, Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL), Division of Education and Human Resources, National Science Foundation
Richard Norris, Director of the Center for Plant and Life Sciences, St. Louis Community College
In an increasingly globalized economy with ever-more demands for creative and technical solutions to challenging problems, the need for skilled technological workers and a scientifically-literate citizenry is accelerating. The United States faces particular challenges in meeting the demands for a skilled scientific and technological workforce, as enrollment in such disciplines dwindles among the nation's college freshman. Low participation by women and young people of underrepresented minorities is also a challenge faced by the scientific and technical industries. The National Science Foundation's Education and Human Resources Division (EHR) has been charged with training the next generation of scientific and technical workers and with promoting the scientific literacy in the country. The EHR Division provides many avenues by which to encourage the dissemination of cutting-edge research and scientific knowledge to the general public, as well as to train the next generation through the incorporation of students and schoolteachers into ongoing research.
Dr. David Hanych of the NSF's Division of Research and Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL) will present programs available for scientific training and outreach, such as Discovery Research K-12, Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST), and Advanced Technological Education (ATE).
Dr. Richard Norris of St. Louis Community College will discuss the BRDG Park Project, an NSF-funded initiative that has allowed STLCC to establish a biotechnology training program and incubator facility. Dr. Norris will illustrate the means by which this project has enabled STLCC to become a prime technical educator in the region as well as promoted the growth of skilled workers and industry in the St. Louis area.