AUSTIN, Texas—The Texas Regional Collaboratives for Excellence in Science Teaching (TRC) at The University of Texas at Austin announced today that it has received a $1 million grant from Shell Oil Company to improve the teaching and learning of math and science in grades K-12.
The four-year, statewide initiative will provide high quality professional development opportunities for Texas science teachers, including teacher training, mentoring and access to instructional materials.
With the goal of encouraging students to pursue advanced science courses leading to careers in engineering, geosciences and environmental science, the Shell-TRC Partnership will offer training opportunities to an average of 500 teachers each year. During the four-year duration of the program, the partnership will serve 2,000 teachers and affect the learning of more than 166,000 students across Texas and other areas.
“Since the TRC was created, it has improved science instruction for around 10,000 teachers in more than 340 Texas school districts in 137 counties,” said Dr. Kamil Jbeily, founder and director of the TRC. “With this incredibly generous support from Shell, we will be able to expand our efforts and improve geoscience instruction for even more Texas children.”
Shell’s grant is the largest corporate gift the TRC has received in its 13 years of operation. It is also the company’s largest individual donation designated to K-12 science teachers and the improvement of geosciences and engineering instruction.
“We are very pleased to be working with The University of Texas at Austin, a partner committed to the advancement of science education in Texas,” said Lynn Laverty Elsenhans, president and country chair of Shell Oil Company. “This program, which is sustainable beyond the four-year duration of the grant, aligns well with our workforce development initiative, aimed at cultivating prospective engineers and scientists to ensure our industry has the skilled workforce required for the future.”
Shell, in addition to the Texas Regional Collaboratives donation, has contributed more than $1 million nationwide in 2004 as part of its workforce development initiative to encourage youth interest in math and science and the pursuit of technical careers.
“The Texas Regional Collaboratives program is a wonderful example of a successful partnership between our university and K-12 educators,” said Dr. Larry R. Faulkner, president of The University of Texas at Austin. “We are pleased to have Shell Oil join this partnership and, with their generous donation, help us educate future leaders in science, business and technology.”
The Texas Regional Collaboratives, headquartered at the Center for Science and Mathematics Education in the College of Education, is an award-winning statewide network of K-16 partnerships, which provides sustained and high intensity professional development to K-12 teachers of science across the state. More than 22 institutions of higher education collaborate with the Texas Education Agency, education service centers, school districts, and corporate and community partners to support continuous improvement in science and technology education.
Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies. Including its consolidated companies and its share in equity companies, Shell Oil is one of America’s leading oil and natural gas producers, natural gas marketers, gasoline marketers and petrochemical manufacturers. Shell Oil is the leading oil and gas producer in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and is a recognized pioneer in oil and gas exploration and production technology.
For more information contact: Kay Randall, The University of Texas at Austin, 512-232-3910; Johan Zaayman, Shell Oil Company, 713-248-4922.