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The Massachusetts Software Council Education Foundation was established in 1996, in honor of the Council's Tenth Anniversary Year, as a way for the industry to have an impact on the critically important area of the use of technology in the classroom. Between 1996 and 2001, the Foundation presented "Above and Beyond Awards" ($1000 grants) to thirty inspiring teachers and individuals who have made extraordinary efforts to enhance teaching and learning through the creative use of technology in Massachusetts schools, K - 12.

Because one of the most serious long-term issues facing the technology industry is the lack of technically skilled graduates from our public schools, the Foundation in 2002, changed its focus. The Foundation believes that middle school is an important leverage point in the education of our children, and that middle school teachers greatly influence students in the pursuit of math and science. The Foundation believes in the need to support teachers and schools as they implement math and science/engineering frameworks, and as they try to excite kids about careers in the scientific and technology professions. If kids are not engaged by the Middle School level, they will not have the necessary prerequisites for further study in this area.

Above and Beyond Awards are now given to encourage best practices in the teaching of math and science in middle schools (grades 6-8), and to recognize, promote and encourage innovative teaching and learning of math and science.

The Foundation offers up to twenty $1,000 awards for classroom use, and up to four $10,000 stipends for teachers to document, further develop, and package their award winning teaching practices so that they can be integrated in the curriculum and broadly disseminated across the state.
 

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