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STEM Programs

PNNL and its partners provide a number of STEM education programs, including:

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Science Bowl

The Department of Energy National Science Bowl® is a nationwide academic competition that tests students in science and math. Teams face off in a fast-paced, question-and-answer format as they are challenged in scientific disciplines such as biology, chemistry, Earth science, physics, energy and math.

PNNL and DOE’s Pacific Northwest Site office sponsor the regional competition, which precedes the national event. Teams from portions of Oregon and Washington state come to the Tri-Cities every February for the contest.

To determine your eligibility and to apply, visit the national website. For more information on the regional competition, contact Annette Schutzenhofer.

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Computer Science

With access to quality computing and cybersecurity education still limited or absent from many schools, PNNL aims to change that by providing teacher training and extracurricular student programming for computer science. We host summer camps for students in topics such as cybersecurity and app design. Through our collaborations, we also offer teacher workshops about computer science in general, as well as how to apply it to other areas. And we’re helping implement statewide standards for teaching computer science, as well as working with higher education to include computer science in teacher preparation programs.

For more information about PNNL’s computer science education efforts, contact Ann Wright-Mockler.

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Educator Leadership Development

  • STEM-IT Now and the Teacher Summer STEM Institute are two similar, week-long emersion programs that deepen teacher understanding of the scientific concepts they teach by partnering teachers with PNNL researchers. For more information, contact Peggy Willcuts.
  • The Washington State LASER STEM Education Leadership Institute is an annual, week-long opportunity for a team of classroom teachers, an administrator and a community partner. It provides an opportunity to engage in activities that build their understanding of what makes a good STEM education program and to develop a plan for their school, district or region. Apply online to participate.
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Engaging Teachers in Research

The STEM Teacher and Research (STAR) program is a nine-week, paid summer research experience for aspiring K-12 STEM teachers from any California State University campus or the Robert Noyce Scholarship Program. Those eligible to apply are: undergraduate students who are either on a teaching path or in a STEM field and seriously considering a career in teaching, master’s degree students, teaching interns and others working to become certified teachers. PNNL hosts 6 to 12 STAR fellows each summer.

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