Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway Recognized for “Leading Edge Business Practice” by Association of Science-Technology Centers

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 23, 2015 – Carnegie Science Center has won the 2015 Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Award for Business Practice from the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), an international organization of more than 600 science centers and museums dedicated to encouraging public engagement with science among diverse audiences.  

The award recognized the Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway, a process developed by Carnegie Science Center by which school districts or individual schools can improve their science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education practices through a continuous improvement sequence of self-evaluation, goal-setting, and re-evaluation. The Pathway’s goal is to help all schools strengthen their STEM efforts with a plan specifically tailored to their individualized STEM education needs and resources, including compliance with Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards as well as career awareness.

Currently – in just one year since the Pathway was developed-- 169 schools and districts in 11 states and the District of Columbia have become Pathway Partners, reaching more than 3,000 schools and 2.6 million students.

Since hundreds of science centers around the world are eligible to compete for the Leading Edge Award, it is rare to be recognized with this award even once, yet this is Carnegie Science Center's third Leading Edge award in the last six years: in 2009, for innovative programming for girls; in 2012, for the Chevron Center for STEM Education and Career Development; and this year, for the Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway.

In announcing the award, ASTC noted: “The Pathway has not only created a funding stream for the science center but has also met community needs.” The 10-person jury, representing science centers in four nations, praised the Pathway’s wide reach and realistic approach in helping integrate the goals of science centers and educators. Ron Baillie and Ann Metzger, the Henry Buhl, Jr., co-directors of Carnegie Science Center, will accept the etched glass “Edgie” award at the 2015 ASTC Annual Conference on Monday, Oct. 19, in the Palais des congrès in Montréal, Quebec, Canada.

“The Pathway has resonated with schools across the country at a rapid pace because it addresses an urgently felt need,” said Ann Metzger. “Across the nation, we face a shortage of workers with the STEM skills demanded by 21st century employers. Schools recognize the critical role they play in developing the next generation STEM workforce, and they’re looking for help in developing effective strategies to improve their STEM education programs.”

“Only through a collaborative effort can the nation address this need for a skilled STEM workforce,” said Ron Baillie. “Schools can’t do it alone. Parents can’t do it alone. Corporations can’t do it alone.  Science Centers can’t do it alone. But the work that we have done with the Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway signals the critical role that science centers can play in their communities in furthering STEM education.”

To develop the Pathway, Carnegie Science Center convened a diverse group of educators, both at the K-12 and higher education levels. Their participation was engaged to ensure the Pathway’s relevance, practicality, and value to school districts both well-resourced and under-resourced, whether urban, suburban, or rural. The planning group also considered the important role the humanities and arts play in an effective and integrated STEM curriculum. The project was funded through The Heinz Endowments.

Participation in the Pathway is free of charge, and access to the Pathway  is available on STEMisphere, an online hub of STEM resources that Carnegie Science Center provides as a community service. Carnegie Science Center also offers professional development and coaching to school districts who want a guided process for their STEM improvement efforts.

Now in its 11th year, the “Edgies” commemorate the late Roy L. Shafer, a former science center director, ASTC president, organizational coach, and mentor to many in the science center and museum field.

About Carnegie Science Center
Carnegie Science Center is dedicated to inspiring learning and curiosity by connecting science and technology with everyday life. By making science both relevant and fun, the Science Center’s goal is to increase science literacy in the region and motivate young people to seek careers in science and technology. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center is Pittsburgh’s premier science exploration destination, reaching more than 700,000 people annually through its hands-on exhibits, camps, classes, and off-site education programs.

About Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
Founded by Andrew Carnegie 120 years ago, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums dedicated to exploration through art and science: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. The museums reach more than 1.3 million people a year through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events.

About ASTC
The Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) is a global organization providing collective voice and professional support for science centers, museums, and related institutions, whose innovative approaches to science learning inspire people of all ages about the wonders and the meaning of science in their lives. Through strategic alliances and global partnerships, ASTC strives to increase awareness of the valuable contributions its members make to their communities and the field of informal STEM learning. Founded in 1973, ASTC now represents over 640 members in nearly 50 countries, including not only science centers and museums, but also nature centers, aquariums, planetariums, zoos, botanical gardens, and natural history and children’s museums, as well as companies, consultants, and other organizations that share an interest in informal science education. For more information about ASTC, or to find a science center near you, visit