ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- National PTA and Bayer USA Foundation have teamed up to launch a national effort to engage families in STEM education. Through the effort, National PTA and Bayer are working to deliver 100,000 STEM experiences over the next three years that engage entire families in hands-on activities—both in schools and at home. The goal is to fill a critical gap in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, increase access to STEM experiences for all students and inspire the next generation of STEM professionals.
National PTA and Bayer's collaboration answers President Barack Obama's call to improve STEM education. Their efforts are being announced today in conjunction with the White House Astronomy Night.
"Decades of research show the critical role families play in children's success and achievement—no matter a family's socioeconomic background. Research also demonstrates that parents and guardians are the most influential in guiding in a child's educational and career decisions," said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. "Family engagement is essential to strengthen STEM education and help all children realize their fullest potential."
"For 20 years, Bayer has provided high-quality, meaningful STEM experiences to children through its 'Making Science Make Sense®' program," added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. "We are excited to collaborate with Bayer to build on 'Making Science Make Sense,' as well as other STEM programs, by engaging entire families."
A recent survey commissioned by Bayer underscores the importance of family engagement to STEM education. Key findings from the survey include:
Parents are most likely to say they, themselves, play the biggest role in stimulating their child's interest in science (46 percent), followed closely by teachers (44 percent).
Nearly one-third (31 percent) of parents don't feel confident enough in their scientific knowledge to help their children engage in hands-on science activities.
One-third (32 percent) of teachers say parent support or involvement at home would be most helpful in increasing hands-on science learning experiences.
Through a variety of activities, including events, grants, and resources, Bayer, National PTA and local PTAs across the country will engage and empower families to support student success in STEM and inspire their children to pursue STEM careers. The effort will include a focus on increasing access to STEM experiences in urban areas, particularly among girls and under-represented youth.
"Bayer is honored and excited to collaborate with such a well-regarded association as the National PTA," said Philip Blake, president, Bayer Corporation. "Their work over the past century has been an asset to parents and their children. We look forward to working with National PTA and feel confident that our efforts will have a positive impact on science education in this country."
In early 2016, National PTA and Bayer will convene a STEM Family Engagement Alliance of education and industry leaders to work together to enhance STEM education through family engagement.
About National PTA National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth.
About Bayer Corporation Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2014, the Group employed around 119,000 people and had sales of EUR 42.2 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.5 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 3.6 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.