Rhode Island Officials and JASON founder Dr. Robert Ballard Announce Expanded Partnership at Warwick’s Pilgrim High School
WARWICK, RI – Rhode Island officials, along with famed oceanographer Dr. Robert Ballard, announced a second significant appropriation by the Rhode Island Legislature to fund expanded JASON Learning implementation in 16 school districts (Bristol/Warren, Burrillville, Central Falls, Coventry, Cranston, East Providence, Jamestown, Newport, North Providence, Pawtucket, Providence, Smithfield, Warwick, West Warwick, Westerly, Woonsocket).
Dr. Ballard, speaking to more than 700 Warwick students and assembled guests, said that as they look at their lives and careers, future opportunities will be available to those who study science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
“STEM is about the real world and how we interact with it,” Dr. Ballard said. “In the Ocean State, it is vital that we educate our students to learn and inquire and explore the world and the universe for the benefit of all.”
Dr. Ballard is the founder of JASON Learning, a non-profit educational organization that teaches more than 2 million students every year about STEM. He was joined by State Rep. Eileen S. Naughton, D-Warwick, who sponsored the appropriation, as well as Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian and several Rhode Island Superintendents.
Rhode Island has now invested a total of $1 million in bringing its state-of-the-art science curricula to students across the state.
Brown University surveyed Rhode Island JASON students from the 2012-2013 school year and found that on average 76.9 percent said they enjoy science classes after their introduction to JASON, vs. 62.8 percent before.
In one district, Westerly, 81.8 percent now enjoy science studies thanks to JASON, up 20.9 percentage points from their earlier experience.
More than 10,000 Rhode Island students participated in JASON Learning curricula in the past school year. The number of students and teachers using JASON will double in school year 2013-2014.