ASEE Presents "President's Award" to Museum of Science President Ioannis Miaoulis and the National Center for Technological Literacy

June 17, 2014

Boston – On June 16, the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) presented its "President’s Award" to Museum of Science, Boston president and director Ioannis Miaoulis and the Museum's National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®). ASEE president Kenneth Galloway made the presentation at the organization's annual conference in Indianapolis before 2,200 engineering faculty and deans, K-12 educators, and representatives from industry, government, and professional groups.

“For years, Ioannis has been a leader in advancing informal science and engineering education,” said Galloway. “He has remarkable insight into young people and how to make engineering ‘come alive.' The NCTL, in a relatively short period, has exposed millions of students to engineering concepts, broadening their education and likely encouraging many of them to consider an engineering career."

The first time a museum has been so honored, this award recognizes entities that encourage K-12 students to pursue engineering careers and/or influence public opinion and create recognition of the critical role that engineering plays in today's technology-driven society.

Ten years ago, Miaoulis launched the NCTL to enhance knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for everyone, introducing engineering as early as elementary school and continuing it through high school and beyond. The NCTL works with education, government, and industry to integrate engineering in schools and museums nationwide. The strategy is to reform standards and assessments, develop curricula, exhibits, and programs, offer teacher professional development, and upgrade public perceptions of engineering.

"It's deeply gratifying to me as an educator and engineer that the American Society for Engineering Education is honoring the museum's NCTL," said Miaoulis. "People thought we were crazy to introduce a new discipline in schools nationwide. But engineering brings science and math alive, making them relevant to children who might later pursue careers in these fields and help maintain the nation's leadership in innovation."

Miaoulis, a former dean of Tufts School of Engineering, said that Museum of Science vice president Christine Cunningham, an ASEE Fellow, introduced the first eight teachers and 200 students to the NCTL's Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®) in 2004. NCTL curricula have reached an estimated 73,700 teachers and 6.1 million students in 50 states.

Other NCTL Milestones:

• The Museum has promoted engineering to over 3 million people via its Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibition, created with Lucasfilm Ltd.

• Its Museum-based Design Challenges, conceived by Miaoulis, have engaged more than 500,000 young visitors in the engineering design cycle.

• Its award-winning EiE curriculum was chosen by Change the Equation as part of President Obama's "Educate to Innovate" campaign to improve STEM education. EiE is also being introduced statewide by Delaware, has been chosen by the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council for the state's STEM Scale-up, and is the model for a European Commission-funded initiative to introduce engineering in primary schools and museums in nine European countries and Israel. Studies reveal positive outcomes for all student demographics.

• The NCTL's Gateway Project has been recognized by the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council for helping school districts create strategic plans to implement K-12 technology and engineering programs.

• The NCTL built support for the first Engineering Education for Innovation Act, introduced in Congress in 2010 and 2011, and the 2013.Educating Tomorrow's Engineers Act.

More on Ioannis Miaoulis
Miaoulis has published more than 100 research papers and holds two patents. His many honors include the Presidential Young Investigator award, NASA's Exceptional Public Service Medal, and the ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) Ralph Coats Roe Medal. Major appointments include serving on the NASA Advisory Council, the NASA Education and Public Outreach Committee, the National Museum and Library Services Board, the American Association for the Advancement of Science Committee on Science & Technology Engagement, and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) Board. He holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering, an M.A. in economics, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Tufts University. He received a master’s in mechanical engineering from M.I.T.

About the Museum of Science, Boston
One of the world’s largest science centers and New England’s most attended cultural institution, the Museum introduces about 1.5 million visitors a year to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) via dynamic programs and hundreds of interactive exhibits. Founded in 1830, the Museum was first to embrace all the sciences under one roof. Highlights include the Hall of Human Life, Thomson Theater of Electricity, Charles Hayden Planetarium, Mugar Omni Theater, Gordon Current Science & Technology Center, 4-D Theater (opening August 2014) and Butterfly Garden. Reaching over 20,000 teens a year worldwide via the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, the Museum also leads a 10-year, $41 million National Science Foundation-funded Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network of science museums. Gifts and pledges for NCTL-led formal and informal technology education initiatives exceed $88 million. Visit: mos.org.

Press Contacts

AJ Gosselin: 617-589-0251 or agosselin@mos.org