Superintendent’s Memo #080-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

March 30, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Center for Excellence in Education Science and Technology Programs

The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) nurtures careers of excellence and leadership in science and technology for academically talented high school and college students and teachers.  The Center sponsors three programs: the Research Science Institute (RSI), the USA Biology Olympiad (USABO), and the Teacher Enrichment Program (TEP).

The Research Science Institute is a summer science program that combines on-campus course work in scientific theory with off-campus work in scientific research. Students work under mentors who are scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. Students selected from the United States and other nations attend college-level classes taught by distinguished professors. Approximately 80 high school students are selected each summer to participate in this unique experience. There is no cost to students for tuition, room, or board.

The USA Biology Olympiad (USABO) focuses on stimulating young scholars' intellectual curiosity and developing their critical thinking skills in biological reasoning. The International Biology Olympiad (IBO) is the annual World Championship Biology Competition for high school students. Currently, international academic Olympiads are held annually in mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science, biology, and astronomy.

The USA Biology Olympiad and the International Biology Olympiad award individual achievement in theoretical and practical biology knowledge and understanding. The top four medal winners from the USA Biology Olympiad National Finals, who comprise the U.S. Team, are invited to represent the United States at the International Biology Olympiad (IBO). The registration for USABO opens in September 2012.

CEE recently launched the Teacher Enrichment Program (TEP) to assure a future talented and diverse U.S. work force in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The TEP offers the following to support teachers with professional learning opportunities and instructional resources:

The Teacher Enrichment Program is available cost-free to science teachers as well as teachers of humanities who are interested in broadening the perspective of science in their classrooms.

For more information, please contact Kathy Frame, director USABO/special projects, by e-mail at or by telephone at (703) 448-9062; or Charles Farmer, manager of the teacher enrichment program, by e-mail at or by telephone at (703) 448-9062.