U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Research Triangle Park Receives STEM Award

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC -The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Research Triangle Park (EPA) has received a partnership award from the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Center (SMT).  The SMT Center awarded the EPA at its annual SMT Celebration gala on April 18.

The mission of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment.  EPA is headquartered in Washington DC, but the Research Triangle Park campus houses 15 EPA offices, including the major center for air pollution research and regulation and is the largest EPA facility outside of DC.

The EPA-RTP’s STEM program is unique to the agency and seeks STEM opportunities in schools and the community, recruits and trains employees to participate based on their expertise, interest, and availability.  The program develops hands-on activities and interactive discussion to engage students in STEM learning and to promote environmental awareness.

Through EPA-RTP’s STEM program in RTP, 10% or more of EPA’S 2,100 employees annually participate in SMT education. In 2013, EPA-RTP employees collectively spent more than 2,000 hours visiting 12 NC counties and three states. They participated in events at 23 high schools, 19 middle schools, 28 elementary schools, and four K-12 schools.

In 2014, EPA hosted three national webinars to educate teachers on climate change and related classroom activities to engage their students. Additionally, each summer, EPA-RTP hosts a 2-day Air Quality Workshop for teachers and other non-formal educators.

The N.C. Science, Mathematics, and Technology (SMT) Center is focused on improving education as a means of providing all students in North Carolina with the knowledge and skills to have successful careers, be good citizens, and advance the economy of the state. Promoting innovation and change in education, the SMT Center celebrates educational excellence in North Carolina by supporting educators, engaging students, and advancing the growing importance of having a STEM-educated workforce. The SMT Center also believes that STEM is more than Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It’s Strategies That Engage Minds® through hands-on, active involvement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education that promotes essential cognitive skills for the 21st century.

Each year the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center (SMT Center) offers awards that recognize individuals and organizations whose extraordinary contributions to science, mathematics, and technology (SMT) education in North Carolina are helping to advance the mission of the SMT Center.

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CONTACT:  Lisa Rhoades at 919/991-5111 or lrhoades@bwfund.org