New collaboration to bring real-world math and science topics into high school classrooms

AUSTIN, Texas (Feb. 10, 2010) – NASA and Texas Instruments (TI) today announced a new educational collaboration to spark excitement about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers among high school and college students.

Using the theme of human space exploration as a focus, NASA’s Human Research Program Education and Outreach (HRPEO) and TI are jointly developing two digital libraries of NASA-related math problems and Advanced Placement (AP*) questions to bring real-world math and science topics into classrooms. The collaboration aims to inspire students to pursue STEM careers and to show how a strong math and science education is essential for tomorrow’s professions.

NASA and TI are committed to building student interest in STEM subjects and helping to establish a foundation for the skills that are critical to be successful in tomorrow’s workforce. During the past 10 years, the percentage of ACT*-tested students who said they were interested in majoring in engineering has dropped steadily from 7.6 percent to 4.9 percent1 indicating a need to raise awareness for STEM careers.

“This joint effort between NASA and TI is intended to inspire young people as they explore their career interests during high school and college,” said Charles Lloyd, program manager, Human Research Program Education and Outreach at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. “Both organizations are passionate about STEM education and motivating the next generation of innovators who will take us farther into space or improve our lives here on Earth.”

The two projects will include Exploring Space Through Math: Applications in High School Mathematics and Math and Science @ Work: Exploring Space with NASA-AP. Exploring Space Through Math provides supplemental problems for students, based on NASA data and set in the context of space exploration. The project material will cover the entire high school math curriculum, beginning with applications in Algebra 1, then Geometry, Algebra 2, and finally Pre-Calculus. The Math and Science @ Work Project seeks to develop, test and release supplemental application problems in calculus, statistics, physics, chemistry and biology, targeting the Advanced Placement classroom.

“Our goal is to make STEM subjects more fun and interactive. Working with NASA is a great opportunity to bring exciting, real-world math experiences into the classroom. Our collaboration will expand the digital content and professional development that TI provides teachers and will help engage students more deeply in STEM subjects,” said Werner Garciano, Director, Professional Development for Texas Instruments Education Technology. “Together, we believe these activities will break through to students who have never considered a STEM career path.”

Both projects will be available Fall 2010 on NASA’s Website and TI Activities Exchange and delivered in T3 professional development workshops. They will provide challenging supplemental problems using real-world NASA applications and data while incorporating TI math learning technology. Each problem includes student and teacher editions to help the teacher link content to higher concepts.

For more information, visit Booth No. 2271 at the 2010 Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) Convention at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas.

With this program, the agency continues its investment in engaging and retaining students in STEM disciplines critical to NASA’s future engineering, scientific, and technical missions. For more information about NASA’s education programs, visit http://www.nasa.gov/education.

About Texas Instruments
Education Technology, a business of Texas Instruments, provides a wide range of tools connecting the classroom experience with real-world applications, helping students and teachers to explore math and science interactively. TI’s products and services are tested vigorously against recognized third-party research, which shows that the use of graphing calculators helps improve the mathematical skills of students and their attitudes toward mathematics. For more information, visit www.education.ti.com.

Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) helps customers solve problems and develop new electronics that make the world smarter, healthier, safer, greener and more fun. A global semiconductor company, TI innovates through manufacturing, design and sales operations in more than 30 countries. For more information, visit www.ti.com.

Texas Instruments is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TXN. More information is located on the World Wide Web at www.ti.com.

1 SOURCE: ACT National High School Profile Reports, 1995–2005

* AP is a registered trademark of the College Entrance Examination Board, which was not involved in the production of and does not endorse this product. ACT is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc., which was not involved in the production of and does not endorse this product. Policies subject to change. Visit http://www.collegeboard.com/ for more information.

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