The Dr. Ronald E. McNair Educational (D.R.E.M.E.) Science Literacy Foundation is currently planning educational programs designed to enlighten, encourage, and strengthen the development of youths in science, technology, and mathematics.
The foundation promotes innovative educational programs designed to improve and strengthen teaching and learning of science, math, and technology at all levels, elementary thrugh college.
It incorporates a two week teacher institute and a two week summer camp for youth during which teachers apply their institute training. Hands-on experiments, field trips, and expert guest speakers are included in the program..
The D.R.E.M.E. Science Literacy Foundation also includes college scholarships to senior high school students, science contests, support to the Dr. Ronald E. McNair Museum and Science Learning Center and various science related projects.
The Foundation's Need
Results of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study Repeat (TIMSSR), announced by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) on December 5, 2000, confirmed previous evidence that the U.S. needs to strengthen efforts in math and science education, particularly in middle school, according to officials of the National Science Foundation (NSF). The original TIMSS indicated that the relative standing of U.S students slipped between the 4th and 8th grade. The NSF director, Rita Colwell claimed, "In these technological times, general scientific and mathematical literacy is crucial to the entire workforce and has implications for our economy into the future".
Student performance in mathematics and science, as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), has improved somewhat, but not consistently. Despite the improved performance overall, achievement gaps between various racial/ethnic subgroups persist and have shown no signs of narrowing since 1990.
In our global society, a more diverse student population throughout the United States faces an ongoing demand requiring raised achievement and test scores. The problems require a diverse approach to teaching, learning, and addressing needs of the urban youth. In addition, technology and the Internet have opened vast possibilities for learning.
Research describes serious problems in the workforce of teachers in science, mathematics, engineering and technology, according to the National Science Foundation report. "In grades 7-12, approximately 33 percent of mathematics teachers and 20 percent of science teachers have neither a major nor minor in their teaching field" (www.nsf.gov/pubs/2001/pr0180/pr0180.txt, 10/01). These problems are confounded by pending retirements of university faculty who prepare teachers.
The Foundation's Solution
Increased interest and performance by students occurred as they equated experiences in the classroom to non-classroom environments. Increased opportunity for a collaborative environment, which fosters experimentation, discovery and problem solving, was indicated as necessary to nurture and produce more future teachers and scientists.
The Dr. Ronald E. McNair Educational (DREME) Science Literacy Foundation includes educational programs designed to provide for diverse approaches to teaching and learning science, mathematics, and technology. These approaches range from full class to one-on-one instruction, mentoring, field trips, laboratory hands-on usage and assembly of materials and equipment. Programs include teacher workshops, summer academy/camps for youth, science contests, and support to various science related projects.
Programs of the DREME Science Literacy Foundation encompass elementary through high school grades, and college. There is emphasis to include encouragement to under-served minority and female participation in particular, as well as, any youth with a remote to intense interest in science.
The Dr. Ronald E. McNair Educational (D.R.E.M.E.) Science Literacy Foundation mission is to promote educational programs designed to strengthen and support teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at all levels - elementary, middle school, high school, and college.
- To promote and improve teaching and learning of science, mathematics, and technology literacy in elementary, middle, high school, and college.
- To facilitate teaching and learning through hands-on experiences and instruction.
- To build confidence and self-esteem in students pursuing careers in science, mathematics, and technology.
- To increase the number of all youth, particularly under-served and under-represented students, including females, in science, mathematics, and technology who enter, pursue, and succeed at the pre-college and college levels.
- To strengthen community resources and avenues for parent and student involvement in science, mathematics, and technology within the community.
- Cheryl M. McNair
(Chairperson of the Board)
- Charles A. Dean
- Arch Gaddis
- Edward J. Hayes, Ph.D
- Joy C. McNair, Esq.
- Reginald E. McNair
- Eric Redman
- Bobbie Renfro Verrett
- Donna Blackshear-Reynolds
- Cheryl Butler, Esq.
- Thomas W. Dortch, Jr.
- Pamela Denkins, Ph.D
- Paula M. Harris
- Limas Jefferson
- Ronald Krist, Esq.
- Barbara Morgan