In 1985, a group of organizations realized a need for a national forum for the discussion of science, mathematics, and technology education issues. As a result, the Triangle Coalition for Science and Technology Education was formed in order to provide an organizational framework for mobilizing resources and support for science and technology education. Since then, Triangle Coalition has expanded its efforts to encompass engineering education as well. Today, the Triangle Coalition is considered to be a national leader and advocate for the reform of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM education. The name “Triangle” comes from the representation of three main stakeholder groups: business, education, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics societies.
Over the years, Triangle Coalition has focused its activities around three areas: communication, advocacy, and programmatic efforts. The Triangle Coalition has hosted numerous national and regional conferences and has printed several publications and reports. It has also hosted several Congressional Liaison Task Force meetings on Capitol Hill and has maintained efforts to keep Congress informed of STEM education issues.
With funding from The Carnegie Corporation of New York, the MacArthur Foundation, various government agencies (National Science Foundation, Department of Education, Department of Energy, and NASA), and Triangle Coalition members, the Coalition has administered and managed a large number of grants and programs. The Triangle Coalition has also coordinated major programs, including the Local Alliance Network Program; the National School Volunteer Project in Science, Mathematics, and Technology (NSVP); Scientific Work Experience Programs for Teachers (SWEPT); the Eisenhower Mathematics and Science Technical Assistance and Leadership Development Project; and the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program.
The Einstein Fellowship, which began in 1990, is the largest and longest-running program that Triangle Coalition has coordinated. The Einstein Fellowship brings K-12 science, technology, and mathematics teachers to spend a school year in Washington, DC within a Federal Agency or Congressional office. In these offices, Einstein Fellows provide an invaluable classroom perspective on programming and policy making. Triangle Coalition continues to manage the program today on behalf of the Department of Energy and recently celebrated the program’s 20th anniversary.
STEM education continues to be a growing concern throughout the nation and is currently recognized as one of the Administration’s top priorities. To that end, Triangle Coalition’s role is more important than ever as we continue to bring together the voices of government, business, and education to improve the quality and outcome of STEM education.