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National Semiconductor Donates Over $1 Million to Help Close the Achievement Gap in Science and Math

National’s Power of Education Grants Support Teacher Development in Hands-On, Sustainable Science, Math Programs

Oct 14, 2008

October 14, 2008 -- National Semiconductor Corp. today announced grants totaling up to $1.2 million for K-12 math and science programs. The grants promote teacher development programs which reinvigorate science and math curriculum in an effort to raise students’ comprehension of these critical subjects.

National is providing Power of Education grants to educational organizations in Silicon Valley, Calif., Arlington, Texas, and Southern Maine, National’s three major U.S. operating communities. The grants are provided by the National Semiconductor Foundation, a charitable fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

The grants will fund projects which embrace inquiry-based teaching strategies and demonstrate impact and sustainability in math and science. For example, linking hands-on science with language literacy has been demonstrated as an effective strategy to improve test scores. This is supported by studies recorded in the Journal of Research and Science Teachings.

A suitable example is Maine’s Math & Science Alliance’s “Linking Science, Inquiry and Language Literacy Project” (L-SILL) which encourages and designs teaching tools to help educators link hands-on science with reading and writing. The L-SILL Project has resulted in noticeably higher test scores in math, science and reading. National’s Power of Education grant will continue to support the L-SILL project to help ensure that science and literacy integration continues to be at the forefront of science education.

“Teachers' enthusiasm has been sparked by strategies that incorporate language literacy to support inquiry-based science instruction. The opportunities offered by L-SILL have put science back on the front burner in these schools, with the students being the ultimate beneficiaries," said Lynn C. Farrin, L-SILL Project Director, Maine Math & Science Alliance.

Similar educational strategies in the Silicon Valley and Arlington will be supported by National’s Power of Education grants, including a pilot study at Santa Clara Unified School District in Silicon Valley which mirrors Maine’s L-SILL Project. The donation also benefits several organizations whose goal is to promote inquiry- based curriculum, develop teaching materials, and educate teachers.  Such organizations include the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) and Resource Area for Teaching (RAFT) in California as well as teacher professional development programs in Texas through the Arlington and Mansfield Independent School Districts.

About National Semiconductor
National Semiconductor creates energy-efficient analog and mixed-signal semiconductors. Its PowerWise® products enable systems that consume less power, extend battery life, and generate less heat. Headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., National reported sales of $1.89 billion for fiscal 2008 which ended May 25, 2008. Additional company and product information is available at www.national.com.