For the second year, Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) staff members have been invited to join the Toyota Education Initiatives in STEAM Innovation (Toyota STEAM) program. This year, Superintendent Dr. Jeanice K. Swift will make the trip along with 20 other AAPS staff representing many from the district’s instructional and administrative levels.
Fully funded by Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., and administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE), this professional development program for U.S. secondary school educators is designed to support efforts to prepare and inspire an increased number of U.S. students to study and pursue careers in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) fields.
Over the past 15 years, Toyota and IIE have conducted 19 international short-study programs in Japan, the Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica and South Africa through the Toyota International Teacher Program. Over 695 alumni, including the first cohort of AAPS educators, make up a network across the U.S. representing some of the nation’s top educators.
To read more about the Toyota STEAM initiative and to view the staff from Ann Arbor Public Schools who will be traveling this year, please view the full press release
Genein Letford, a Hilton Worldwide Teacher Treks Program
grant recipient who is traveling to Japan and South Korea to develop curriculum using the arts as a medium to convey cross-cultural education, recently had the opportunity to meet Katy Perry in Los Angeles for the #MakeRoarHappen campaign. As part of this campaign, Katy Perry is partnering with www.donorschoose.org
and Staples to donate $1 million
to support teachers and their classrooms. Follow Genein on her adventure through her blog: geneinletford.blogspot.com/
In a recent post on the U.S. Department of Education’s official blog, Maureen McLaughlin, senior advisor to the Secretary and director of international affairs, reflected on a policy seminar that the Office of International Affairs held to discuss the importance of educational diplomacy, with a focus on study abroad and international experiences.
Among the seminar participants were Rajika Bhandari, Deputy Vice President, Institute of International Education and Maya Garcia, Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program
alumna and DC STEM Specialist. During the seminar, Rajika discussed how IIE is supporting the effort to double the number of students studying abroad through IIE’s initiative Generation Study Abroad
. Maya shared how her Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching overseas experience changed what she is doing in her job in DC. Other participants also shared their expertise with the group for a rich discussion.
"Some of the students at Ballou High School in Southeast, [Washington, D.C.] have spent their entire lives in D.C., never venturing far outside the city's borders. Until now. A study abroad program at Ballou is taking these kids on adventures thousands of miles from home," writes Kavitha Cardoza in a recent article on WAMU.
After hearing about the lack of travel opportunities her students had previously had, Allison Baugher, the Spanish teacher at Ballou High School, started a travel abroad program. Now over the past five years, approximately 50 students have traveled to Ghana, Spain and Ecuador, among other countries, for a week to 10 days. The travel program costs approximately $3,000 for each participating student, so the students fundraise through bake sales, selling t-shirts, etc. to pay for the trip.
To read more about the students’ experiences on their international travel and how the travel has changed their views, please view Kavitha Cardoza’s article
about the students at Ballou High School.
These events are not sponsored by the Institute of International Education (IIE).