PRISE Statement on systemic racism in the United States
and violence against Asian Americans
The Philadelphia Regional Institute for STEM Educators stands with and supports the Asian-American community. We decry the increasing hate and violence against Asian Americans here in Philadelphia and across the United States, including the recent murders in Atlanta. Our best hope as a country is that all people in America will experience safety, peace and the absence of fear as we live and work together. As an organization focused on developing and supporting excellence in teachers, we will continue to strive in our efforts to promote culturally relevant teaching in which the differences of people and the rich cultures that make up the uniqueness of our country are valued.
We condemn the murders of Daunte Wright, Walter Wallace, Jr, and George Floyd and stand against the institutional and systemic racism in our country of which their murders are only the latest example. We recognize the immeasurable pain and loss that these tragedies have caused. As an organization emanating from the mission of the National Science Foundation Noyce Program to serve students in high-need schools, we are committed to supporting excellence in STEM teacher education for the benefit of all children. We value the communities in which our students live and are committed to working with other like-minded organizations to support students, families and educators in bringing about the positive social change that we want to see in the world.
In August, we started our own internal exploration of racism in our midst through facilitated Conversations on Racism. We have affirmed our commitment to culturally relevant teaching and education for sustainability as it relates to social justice in our society and communities and have taken actions to ensure that future programs that we run will have equity and social justice as their foundation. We will be providing opportunities for STEM educators to convene and share their thoughts for next steps as we thoughtfully consider additional actions we can take as an organization.
For those looking for information on making positive change, we have compiled a Resource List to which we welcome additional input from others. You can find it here.
Below are a few highlights from that list:
Waking up White, Debby Irving
For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood, Christopher Emdin
How to be Anti-Racist, Ibram X. Kendi
https://www.instagram.com/tcplaneteer/ – Site devoted to socio-scientific issues and environmental/social justice education, moderated by Noyce Scholar/Teacher Tasnim Aziz
COVID Response: Programs listed on our Events Calendar are virtual events or take place outside. Please be in touch with the specific program to find out their current schedule. We want to encourage everyone to wear masks, wash hands frequently and practice social distancing and to follow the guidance of the CDC and the State of Pennsylvania. Stay safe and well and remember to think about the safety and wellness of others.
Looking for some stimulating learning experiences? Click for STEM Adventure! Learn more….
Noyce Scholar Network
Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much. Helen Keller Get connected to other NOYCE scholars. Learn More
Looking for ideas for lessons? Where to get materials or apply for loans for you project-based learning? Read more….
PRNP hosts and sponsors a variety of professional development events for STEM teachers. Learn More
Explore STEM Teaching!
More than ever, we need excellent STEM teachers! Find out why we need them, what it takes to be one and pathways to getting there. Read more…..
Donate to Support STEM Teachers
PRISE welcomes financial support, donations large and small, to help develop, implement and sustain best practice programs for teachers. Read more….
Look No Further for Support. Get Started Today
PRISE News & Events
PRNP is changing its name and that’s not all!
The Philadelphia Regional Noyce Partnership (PRNP) is now the Philadelphia Regional Institute for STEM Educators at Saint Joseph’s University (PRISE)! How did that happen? What does that mean? Is PRISE still here for STEM Teachers? We are sure that you have a lot of questions and we are happy to try and respond to them. Let’s start with some basics: 10 years ago, 6 of institutions of higher education in the Philadelphia region (Bryn Mawr/Haverford, Drexel, La Salle, Saint Joseph’s, Temple and Penn) banded together because all of them had received Noyce Scholarship grants from the National Science Foundation. They believed that they could serve STEM teachers best by “doing together what they could not do alone.” This became the motto of the Philadelphia Regional Noyce Partnership. After working together for ten years and expanding their numbers to 10 institutions of higher education (now including Arcadia, CCP, Villanova, and West Chester), what was a belief to start with, proved a reality in fact. Together, we have provided countless opportunities for professional development and teacher leadership, recruited over 200 STEM teachers and supported more than 60 new teachers as they began their teaching journey. Working together, the partner schools have garnered over $3 million in NSF awards! It became apparent that this partnership was working and needed to become a more permanent organization. Thus….Philadelphia Regional Institute for STEM Educators (PRISE) came into being! About two years ago, we began discussing our transition to an Institute with various partners. In the end, Saint Joseph’s University (SJU) has become our very welcoming host and we are in the process of figuring out with SJU how we function as an institute and what we need to do to transition from PRNP to PRISE.
We will keep you updated on how we progress and what’s new at PRISE. We expect that our relationship with SJU will afford us increased opportunities to serve and support STEM teachers. So stay tuned!
STEM Teachers Attending Events since 2011
Induction Program Participants since 2015
STEM Educator Events Hosted or Sponsored
Millions $ awarded in collaborative grants to support STEM Teachers
Spotlight on Scholars
Featured Scholar – Somi (Sridevi) Somireddy
Sridevi Somireddy (Dunddumalla) has a master’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in education from India. Growing up in India, she saw education as a path towards success. Somi’s school teachers expressed the importance of education in breaking cycles of poverty and disprivilege, highlighting the United States of America as a beacon of hope with its world-class education. Recognizing how education has shaped her as a person, Somi became a mathematics teacher in India with the hopes of offering not only instruction in the classroom but also guidance through life to her students. After giving birth to her first daughter, Somi pursued a teaching position with The Philadelphia School District.
Over the past eighteen years, Somi watched herself and her family grow in their new country. Adapting western ideals, they embraced new people and new ideas. Somi’s teaching style changed from the methodical approach she used in India to a more creative and investigative approach, instilling her core belief that education is a path towards success.
After seeing the importance of project based learning and a multidisciplinary teaching style, Somi felt the need for her students to develop creative and problem-solving skills to become lifelong learners. She implemented EFS teaching strategies in her classroom by bringing sustainability and mathematics together to give a more holistic approach to education that helps students recognize the importance of math in creating a better future.
At her current school, Mastbaum, Somi teaches mathematics and is the mathematics department head. Somi believes that teaching is an ever-changing profession that constantly adapts to new generations, technologies, and resources. As department head, she works hard to strategize with other teachers the best way to address all student needs. She believes that teaching cannot be confined to one approach. She encourages teachers to make their classrooms exciting by experimenting with different approaches and openly share what worked and what might not have worked to learn from both successes and failures.
Somi is most excited about the adaptive nature of teaching. Technology in the classrooms twenty years ago was seen as a privilege but now it becomes almost a necessity. Moving forward, Somi hopes to educate other teachers on the constantly changing process of teaching and learning and to help bring EFS standards more prominence in classrooms across the math curriculum.