STEM Woman Leader of the Day- Cindy Moss (Discovery Education)
Submitted by Michael Weston-... on August 17, 2012
As director of global STEM initiatives for Discovery Education, Dr. Cindy Moss designs, develops and implements initiatives to inspire students' curiosity in STEM. Prior to joining Discovery Education, Dr. Moss was director of STEM for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and taught high school biology and chemistry. Among her many achievements, she was recognized with a Milken National Educator Award. Dr. Moss holds a bachelor's degree in zoology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, master's degree in science from Syracuse University and doctorate in science curriculum and instruction from the Curtin Institute of Technology in Perth, Western Australia.
Why do you believe STEM education and workforce are important to our nation?
STEM education is critical to the future of our country and world because it provides opportunities for students to learn to collaborate, innovate and develop critical thinking skills. Businesses of all types are searching for employees who can communicate, collaborate, use technological tools effectively and possess a variety of problem solving skills. Building STEM literacy among America’s next generation of leaders is critical to meet the technology challenges that lie ahead, prepare students for tomorrow’s careers and help our nation compete in a global economy.
What traits do senior leaders need to effectively support and advance STEM today?
The most important trait for senior leaders to possess is the willingness to take ownership for the quality of STEM education in their region. Adults tend to think that school today is like the school they attended, and as a result they may not question whether science teaching is occurring. Senior business leaders need to meet with school district senior staff to discuss how they are promoting STEM and find ways to partner to improve STEM education. Senior leaders need to be willing to listen to district leaders about the obstacles that educators face and be willing to help troubleshoot ways to overcome those obstacles.
What is your concept of mentoring and sponsorship of others for STEM careers?
As a high school teacher for 20 years and a director of STEM education for 9 years, I know that students need to see people who resemble them in a career, to help them believe they could pursue that option. As a classroom teacher, I developed partnerships with businesses to bring STEM professionals into the school to meet with students and build relationships with them. As a district level STEM leader, I started virtual field trips with local STEM companies to provide opportunities for teachers to deliver STEM learning experiences to their students. Through business partnerships and virtual field trips, students have the opportunity to see the variety of careers available in STEM and that people of all backgrounds and genders can be successful in STEM.
How is your company innovating to promote STEM?
Discovery Education is a division of Discovery Communications, the leading non-fiction media company in the world. With unparalleled access to the world's premiere educational media, Discovery Education delivers digital content and a variety of learning experiences and initiatives to get students excited about STEM. Discovery also encourages teachers, students and parents to see STEM as a potential career path. Discovery Education’s resources enable students to travel the globe without leaving their classrooms and interact with thought leaders in STEM. The resources also help ensure that all students, regardless of their zip code, can have a high quality STEM education. Additionally, Discovery Education provides research-based strategies and professional development to teachers and school administrators to empower them to provide the highest quality STEM education. Discovery also helps teachers celebrate and communicate their successes in STEM to motivate others to innovate in their classrooms.