On March 23, Provost Peter Stearns accepted a $100,000 check on behalf of the university from Dee Mooney, executive director of the Micron Foundation. The funds will support operations of the Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement (VISTA).
“This support is critical to our efforts to bolster STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] instruction in the commonwealth,” said Stearns. “We appreciate Micron’s investment and look forward to additional partnerships in the future.”
Said Mooney: “We are pleased to support George Mason’s VISTA program to promote K-12 math and science education.Through the Micron Foundation’s Sparking a Passion and Engineering the Future initiatives, we support educators with the resources necessary to promote robust education in STEM areas.”
The VISTA program seeks to improve both K-12 science teaching and student learning through better preparing science teachers for the classroom as well as facilitating more dynamic learning experiences for students.
VISTA is a partnership between Mason and five other Virginia universities, 47 school districts and the Virginia Department of Education. In 2010, the program was one of 49 organizations selected by the U.S. Department of Education to receive a $28.5 million Investing in Innovation grant because of its collaborative effort to strengthen science education in Virginia.
In addition to presenting the check, officials from Micron observed sessions at the New Science Coordinator Academy, a VISTA program held at the Mason Inn Conference Center and Hotel that helps new district coordinators hone their leadership and curriculum-planning skills. The Micron representatives also toured the Volgenau School’s Nguyen Engineering Building.
The Micron Technology Foundation, a nonprofit founded through a gift from Micron Technology, funds educational efforts and charitable activities. Micron Technology manufactures and markets computer storage chips, semiconductor components and memory modules for use in computing, consumer, networking and mobile products.