NISE Awards STEM Certification to Its First Graduate

Posted by Marissa Alonzo on June 13, 2016
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The National Institute for STEM Education (NISE) opened its doors earlier this year and has announced that it has the first graduate of the STEM certification, Virginia Pitts.Virginia Pitts is a retired teacher with over 30 years' experience as a public school educator and 11 years teaching in a private school. Focusing primarily on integrated and life sciences throughout her career, Virginia says she wishes she had had an opportunity to use the STEMscopes curriculum in her classroom. 

"I wish I had these types of things available to me when I was still in the classroom...these would have helped with understanding and application of science with students," she said. 

Virginia was first introduced to Accelerate Learning and STEMscopes in 2012, when she became a curriculum writer for STEMscopes after her second attempt at retirement. With over 400 new hours of professional development she acquired in the position, Virginia continues to be a steadfast worker even after retirement. 

"I am diligent, meticulous, and want to finish what I started...I really enjoy working for STEMscopes and continue as a writer but I also enjoy time with my grandchildren and family...I love to stay busy," she said. 

Virginia found the enrollment process with NISE very easy.

"The process of people helping you along the way has been phenomenal," she said. 

Virginia had coaching from the NISE core team members, including Whitney Dove who helped Virginia through the process of enrollment, class configuration, and observation. 

So what's next for Virginia? Now that she has acquired STEM certification she has the option of attributing hours toward a master's or doctorate degree at the American College of Education. She already has her master's degree, though, so she has decided to coach other enrollees in the NISE programs instead. As a coach and an observer she will aid in critiquing applicants' work and return to the classroom as an observer, to make sure school candidates meet all the indicators required for campus certification. 

"Writing for STEMscopes is the most awesome job I have ever had...I am glad to help now with NISE."

We are excited for Virginia as she pursues her third career in education, and glad to see others following in her footsteps. The certification, a new benchmark for STEM classroom skills, will help strengthen educators throughout the world of STEM teaching.


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The National Institute for STEM Education (NISE) , which opened its doors earlier this year, has announced that it has conferred STEM certification to its first graduate, Virginia Pitts.