News Archive

San Diego Supercomputer Center's TeacherTECH Program Receives Education Award

Published 05/14/2007

May 14, 2007

Diane Baxter

Media contact:
Warren Froelich

Paul Tooby

SDSC TeacherTECH, which helps educators bring new technology tools and technology-enabled science concepts into K-12 curriculum, has been presented with a Partner of the Year Award by the San Diego Science Alliance.

The outreach program, run by the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego, attracted more than 1,200 teachers from more than 150 area schools to its workshops in 2006, and anticipates some 1,400 participants in 2007. This represents educators who reach as many as 200,000 students annually from San Diego County and Baja, Mexico, enhancing their education through the program.

"Many of us in science are here because our interest was piqued by committed and dedicated teachers, and TeacherTECH gives teachers the tools to make science and technology accessible and help create the next generation of scientists, technologists, and science-savvy leaders," said SDSC Director Fran Berman, who accepted the award. "SDSC is proud of the TeacherTech program and the outstanding efforts of our staff to make it a success."

The San Diego Science Alliance Partner of the Year awards recognizes outstanding efforts to improve science education in San Diego County. This year's awards banquet was held May 10 at the biotechnology company, Biogen IDEC.

The TeacherTECH education outreach program has established strong collaborative relationships with the San Diego City Schools and the San Diego County Office of Education to give broad access for teachers to training in state-of-the art technology.

"SDSC TeacherTECH helps reduce teachers' barriers to using technology for learning and teaching," said Diane Baxter, director of education at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. "The aim of SDSC TeacherTECH is to give every teacher, regardless of where they live in the county, access to essential tools to bring science and technology into their classrooms within their own curriculum."

The program has proven highly effective, with year-to-year enrollment gains and excellent feedback from participants. Baxter credits SDSC Education Program Manager Ange Mason, who coordinates TeacherTECH, with playing a key role in helping it grow from a small activity reaching fewer than one hundred teachers per year in 2004 to today's far larger impact.

"The SDSC TeacherTECH Program is a wonderful support for me and my colleagues - I've learned about animation skills, web design, databases, and fabulous on-line resources and tools," said participant Leslie Gushwa, a science teacher at San Dieguito Academy in Encinitas and a former San Diego County Teacher of the Year. "It's a remarkable resource for teachers in the greater San Diego area."

A mainstay of the SDSC TeacherTECH program is consistency and continuing support for teachers who participate. Its technology tools, science, and math workshops are held regularly in collaboration with SDSC researchers, as well as researchers at UCSD, The Scripps Research Institute, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The program offers both academic year and summer training sessions, supported by an information-rich website and follow-up sessions to reinforce new technology skills and knowledge.

Because of its demonstrated effectiveness, the SDSC TeacherTECH program is also growing beyond San Diego. The program is being adopted by other supercomputer centers in the TeraGrid, a national network of nine National Science Foundation centers that forms the world's largest distributed cyberinfrastructure for open scientific research.

About SDSC
For more than two decades, the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) has enabled breakthrough data-driven and computational science and engineering discoveries through the innovation and provision of information infrastructure, technologies and interdisciplinary expertise. A key resource to academia and industry, SDSC is an international leader in Data Cyberinfrastructure and computational science, and serves as a national data repository for nearly 100 public and private data collections. SDSC is an Organized Research Unit and integral part of the University of California, San Diego and one of the founding sites of NSF's TeraGrid. For more information see