STEM Classrooms

Carolina Biological, ASTE Partner to Boost Resources, Support for Science Teachers

K–12 science supplier Carolina Biological has teamed up with the Association for Science Teacher Education to provide professional development and teacher support in an effort to boost retention in the field, the organizations recently announced. 

Carolina said it will provide new science teachers participating in ASTE with educator resources to “help teachers get started in their classrooms and to learn how to use the wealth of science equipment they may face for the first time in their new schools,” according to the announcement. Pre-service teachers who have received their first teaching assignment will also receive vouchers for free or discounted instructional supplies from Carolina, the company said.

With the turnover rate for K–12 science teachers rising to a “daunting 35%” since 2018, “there is a much greater than normal need for direction, support, and guidance for the wave of pre-service and in-service K–12 science teachers,” Carolina said. 

“A lot has changed in science education over the last few years that led to so many teachers leaving, including daily responsibilities, preparation, teaching and learning modalities and challenging new science standards,” the company said. “Educators in training are struggling just to become new educators, as well as learn to implement new science standards.”

Carolina’s science materials include many that are aligned to NGSS standards in digital and print formats as well as materials for hands-on classroom learning such as science lab equipment. 

The company also invited teachers to its updated knowledge base website for science instruction, professional resources, and grant opportunities, dubbed the Dream Big initiative. The site includes U.S. Department of Education guidance, information about grants, professional learning resources, inspirational classroom project ideas, case studies showing how schools have used ESSER funds to improve their STEM instruction, and more. 

Another component of Carolina and ASTE’s partnership is an expansion of ASTE’s annual Honorarium Awards, which Carolina will fund, the company said. “In addition to three $1,000 awards that teachers can already apply for directly on Carolina’s Dream Big page, Carolina has also agreed to fund five honorees in 2023 through ASTE’s annual Honorarium Awards program, as well as the annual John C. Park NTLI award of $1,200,” Carolina said.

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About the Author

Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].