BOSTON–UMass Boston Distinguished Professor of Science Education Arthur Eisenkraft has received an additional $5.5 million in grants from Wipro Limited as the India-based IT company expands the Wipro Science Education Fellowship (SEF) Program to three additional universities, UMass Boston said in a statement.
The Wipro SEF Program aims to nurture excellence in science education in public school systems through teacher leadership training. Over the next three years, Eisenkraft, also a professor of physics and director of the Center of Science and Mathematics in Context (COSMIC), will guide teams at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, University of South Florida, and University of Missouri, who will be in turn providing professional development for the K-12 science teachers participating in each university’s program.
These teachers will undergo 250 hours of intense capability development training culminating in teacher leadership opportunities, while continuing to teach in their respective schools. By the end of the three years, a total of 180 fellows–60 associated with each university–will be trained.
Wipro Limited is a global information technology, consulting, and business process services company. It’s decided to invest in education in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields because according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 99 percent of STEM occupations require postsecondary education, compared to 36 percent of jobs overall.
“Wipro is deeply committed to improving STEM education in public schools and helping educators prepare students for the future,” said Anurag Behar, chief sustainability officer for Wipro Limited. “The Wipro Science Education Fellowship Program works with educators across the U.S. who have a passion for improving public education and deep commitment to their communities. The program works with institutions with expertise in teacher education and the desire to develop it further, as well as credibility and relationships with local communities and school districts. We look forward to collaborating with these institutions to help further the cause of good education in the U.S.”
Between 2012 and April 2018, Wipro has worked with five universities, led by UMass Boston, to train more than 200 educators throughout more than 20 targeted school districts. UMass Boston was the first to work with Wipro Science Education Fellows; the first cohort began in 2013; the second in 2014. This year’s $5.5 million grant brings the total number of Wipro investment at UMass Boston to $13.4 million.