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Bayer Awards $200,000 to National Science Teachers Association to Nurture Early-Career Science Teachers

Ten Bayer-NSTA Fellows Named to 2008-09 NSTA New Science Teacher Academy

PITTSBURGH, March 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Bayer Corporation's Bayer USA Foundation has awarded the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) a $200,000 grant to create the Bayer-NSTA Fellows program and to expand the NSTA New Science Teacher Academy.

This latest Bayer USA Foundation grant supports Bayer Corporation's ongoing commitment to improve science education and science literacy through the company-wide Making Science Make Sense(R) program.

Each year for three years, the grant supports 10 early-career middle and high school science teachers with an array of professional development resources and tools. Bayer-NSTA Fellows receive a comprehensive NSTA membership package, online mentoring with trained instructors who teach in the same discipline and the opportunity to participate in a variety of Web-based professional development activities, including Web seminars. They also will receive financial support to attend NSTA's 2009 National Conference on Science Education.

The NSTA New Science Teacher Academy is a year-long professional development program to help reduce the high-attrition rate among science teachers who are new to the profession.

Research shows that nearly 50 percent of early-career teachers leave their jobs in the first five years. Intended for science educators entering their second or third year of teaching, the Academy aims to reverse this trend by promoting quality science teaching, enhancing teacher confidence and classroom excellence and improving teacher-content knowledge.

With its emphasis on encouraging and supporting middle and secondary school science educators in their first few years of teaching, the NSTA New Science Teacher Academy aligns with two of President Barack Obama's key education policy initiatives to make math and science education a national priority and retain teachers.

The first class of Bayer-NSTA Fellows was selected from more than 800 applicants around the country. They include:

  • Jill Bergan, Martin Luther King Middle School, Berkeley, Calif.
  • Alexis Book, The Neighborhood Academy, Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Stacey Straub, The Neighborhood Academy, Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Samantha Carpenter, Durant Road Middle School, Raleigh, N.C.
  • Sherry Hansen, Oregon Trail Junior High, Olathe, Kan.
  • James Pastorius, Frelinghuysen Middle School, Morristown, N.J.
  • Arshunda Washington, Alief Taylor High School, Houston, Texas
  • Melissa Alexander, South Ripley Junior/Senior High School, Versailles, Ind.
  • Sue Ellen Beek, Jefferson City High School, Jefferson City, Mo.
  • Renee Haines, Martinsburg High School, Martinsburg, W.Va.

"As a company with a long history of helping to strengthen U.S. science education, Bayer is acutely aware that two of the highest need K-12 teaching areas are in math and science. We must continue to find ways to attract and retain the best and brightest math and science teachers if we expect our students to compete with their global peers," said Greg Babe, President and CEO of Bayer Corporation, and Chairman and President of the Bayer USA Foundation.

"Quality science teachers must have a firm command of the content they are teaching and have access to meaningful, ongoing professional development opportunities," said Francis Eberle, Executive Director, NSTA. "The NSTA New Science Teacher Academy meets these needs by giving early-career science teachers the opportunity to learn and grow professionally, and by giving them the tools and resources necessary to not only succeed in the classroom, but make science come alive for their students."

This spring, Bayer and NSTA will issue a call for entries to the 2009-2010 NSTA New Science Teacher Academy. Science teachers located throughout the country who will be entering their second or third year of teaching and whose schedule is a minimum of 51 percent middle or high school science, can apply to the become an NSTA Fellow. For more information about the NSTA New Science Teacher Academy, to learn how to apply to become a fellow and 2009-2010 deadline information please visit

About NSTA

The Arlington, Va.-based National Science Teachers Association ( is the world's largest professional organization promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning. NSTA's current membership includes more than 58,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.

About Bayer Corporation and Making Science Make Sense

Bayer Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is a subsidiary of Bayer AG, an international health care, nutrition and high tech materials group based in Leverkusen, Germany. In North America, Bayer had 2008 net sales of approximately 8 billion euros (about $12 billion) and employed 17,000 at year end. Bayer's three subgroups, Bayer HealthCare, Bayer CropScience and Bayer MaterialScience, improve people's lives through a broad range of essential products that help diagnose, prevent and treat diseases; protect crops and enhance yields; and advance automobile safety and durability.

Formalized in 1995, Making Science Make Sense is Bayer's award-winning initiative to advance science literacy through hands-on, inquiry-based science learning, employee volunteerism and public education.

About the Bayer USA Foundation

The Bayer USA Foundation is an endowed 501(c)(3) entity and is the primary source of Bayer Corporation's philanthropy in the United States. With a programmatic focus on the environment and sustainability; education and workforce development; arts and culture; and health and human services, the foundation creates and supports organizations that improve communities in which Bayer employees live and work, as well as society at large. The Bayer USA Foundation is one of three Bayer corporate foundations worldwide, including the Bayer Science & Education Foundation and the Bayer Cares Foundation.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in our annual and interim reports filed with the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

SOURCE Bayer Corporation
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