Annenberg Awards $60 Million to C.P.B. for Science

By Peter West — July 31, 1991 2 min read

The Annenberg Foundation will give the Corporation for Public Broadcasting up to $60 million to support a long-term effort to foster innovative uses of technology in science and mathematics education.

The recently launched Annenberg Foundation/cpb Elementary and High School Project for Mathematics and Science is designed to “awaken American schoolchildren to the wonder of science and the fascination of mathematics,” said Mary Ann Meyers, the foundation’s president.

The goals of the project, she said, are to help develop a more scientifically literate citizenry, to meet the needs of employers who require technically skilled workers, and to ensure an adequate supply of future science teachers and scientists.

“To maintain our competitiveness in the world community, we must help all our children to attain proficiency in math and science, since technological and economic progress requires mastery of these essential subjects,” said Walter H. Annenberg, the founder and chairman of the Pennsylvania-based foundation.

Under the terms of the agreement, announced last month, the foundation will provide the cpb with as much as $5 million a year over the next 12 years to support the effort.

The corporation will use the money to devise ways to help K-12 teachers better convey the concepts underly8ing science and to explain the ways in which science, math, and technology depend on one another.

A Dissemination Task

The information will be disseminated using microcomputers, interactive video, videodisks, and computer networks and data bases.

Ms. Meyers said the project will not undertake research into effective teaching methods, but rather will make available to a wider audience information about such existing science-reform efforts as Project 2061, an initiative of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

“It’s still very early” to discuss specifics, she said. “But the important thing is to get the information into the hands of those who can best use it, to get out into the classroom.”

The agreement states that the cpb will manage the new project under the direction of a council that will include public broadcasters and Annenberg officials.

Mara Mayor, who directed the Annenberg/cpb Project--a program that developed a collection of television-based course materials and new applications of communication technologies to reach college students, independent learners, and working adults seeking college degrees--will direct the initiative.

Ms. Meyers also said that the organizations will seek the advice of experts in math and science teaching and reform to help direct the effort.

A version of this article appeared in the July 31, 1991 edition of Education Week as Annenberg Awards $60 Million to C.P.B. for Science