Science Classrooms Nationwide Receive $550,000 From Toyota Tapestry Grant Program

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Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc. recognized 78 science teachers from across the country this weekend with $550,000 in grants via the Toyota TAPESTRY: Grants for Science Teachers program at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) National Conference on Science Education in Boston, Mass. At the conference, Toyota also received recognition for its significant contribution toward the construction of a new, state-of-the-art science education center in Arlington, Va. and corresponding Web-based resource portal to be used by science teachers nationwide.

A love of science cannot be taught -- students have to experience it. The Toyota TAPESTRY Program gives teachers what we really need -- the resources to share our love of science with kids.

Torrance, Calif. (PRWEB March 31, 2008 -- Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc. recognized 78 science teachers from across the country this weekend with $550,000 in grants via the Toyota TAPESTRY: Grants for Science Teachers program at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) National Conference on Science Education in Boston, Mass. At the conference, Toyota also received recognition for its significant contribution toward the construction of a new, state-of-the-art science education center in Arlington, Va. and corresponding Web-based resource portal to be used by science teachers nationwide.

As the nation's largest science teacher grant program, Toyota TAPESTRY selected 78 proposals for funding from the more than 500 submitted by K-12 teachers. The projects funded by the Toyota TAPESTRY program will be implemented in classrooms beginning in June 2008.

Of the $550,000 granted, 50 teachers received up to $10,000 each and 28 received grants of up to $2,500 each. More than $8 million has been awarded to 986 teams of teachers throughout the program's 18-year history.

"My TAPESTRY grant provided the resources to nurture and cultivate students' interest in nature into a lifelong passion," said Angie Meadows, a past TAPESTRY grant recipient and Wilmington, Delaware kindergarten teacher. "A love of science cannot be taught -- students have to experience it. The Toyota TAPESTRY Program gives teachers what we really need -- the resources to share our love of science with kids."

Through the TAPESTRY program, Toyota awards grants to innovative teachers each year. Judges, accomplished in various areas of science, select projects that stand out in creativity, risk-taking and originality in three areas: environmental science, physical science and integrating literacy and science. This year's projects explore topics ranging from an atmospheric research rocket to studies of endangered and endemic species.

"It's extremely rewarding to support educators who bring quality science to our children," said Michael Rouse, Toyota's corporate manager of philanthropy and community affairs. "TAPESTRY was designed to directly impact the children and improve science learning opportunities and over the past 18 years, we've truly had the opportunity to do just that."

Toyota's $1.5 million donation to the NSTA's Center for Science Education will go toward building the proposed LEED-certified Toyota Science Education Conference and Training Center in Arlington, Va., with completion slated for 2010. The center will offer summer workshops, symposia, research dissemination conferences and teacher leadership programs designed to keep science educators well-informed of new insights, methods and research in science teaching. The Toyota funds will also assist in creating the online NSTA Learning Center, which will include thousands of standards-based resources to inform the curriculum of science teachers across the nation.

Toyota TAPESTRY is open to elementary, middle and high school science teachers in the United States and its territories, including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Teachers may apply individually or in teams. Applications are submitted online and are due in January each year. For more information about Toyota TAPESTRY grants, visit http://www.nsta.org/programs/tapestry or call (800) 807-9852.

See the attached document for the complete list of 2008 TAPESTRY winners.

About Toyota's Education Programs
In addition to sponsoring a number of nonprofit educational organizations, Toyota offers three major programs that support teachers with grants and students with scholarships; Toyota Community Scholars, which provides 100 scholarships to high school seniors based on academics and community service; the Toyota International Teacher Program, a study-abroad program for secondary teachers in Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands; and Toyota TAPESTRY.

Toyota also supports scholarships through the Hispanic Scholarship Fund; United Negro College Fund; Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation; National FFA and the American Indian College Fund. In 2007, Toyota USA contributed $57 million to U.S. philanthropic programs, with a majority of funding supporting education. For more information, visit http://www.toyota.com/community or contact kathy_mota@toyota.com.

About Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. is the marketing, sales, distribution and customer service arm of Toyota, Lexus and Scion. Established in 1957, TMS markets products and services through a network of more than 1,400 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealers. Toyota directly employs over 36,000 people in the U.S. and sold more than 2.6 million vehicles in 2007. For more information about our company, please visit http://www.toyota.com/, http://www.lexus.com/ and http://www.scion.com/.

About National Science Teachers Association
The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA's current membership includes more than 57,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.

Media Contact:         
Lyndsey Payzant
GolinHarris for Toyota
(213) 438-8753
lpayzant@golinharris.com

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