First, a change in Bylaws was approved. Since ESA assumed management of the Foundation and began donating staff time and headquarters space to the operations in January 2015, the presidency of the Foundation has been the responsibility of the immediate past president of the ESA. However, that individual was also responsible to lead the ESA's Science Policy efforts. This was found to be an untenable workload. As such, the Board approved a new leadership rotation. Effective immediately, the vice president of ESA will be the president of the Foundation with two of the other officer positions (vice president and past president) updating accordingly with this new rotation.
Secondly, the Board approved a change in focus. The Foundation will still remain true to its core mission of supporting the STEM needs of K-12 educators through the use of insects in the classroom, however, the primary activity of the Foundation will now be that of providing grants to educators rather than running events that support teachers.
In practice this means that events like the Insect Expo and the STEMbugs educator events will now be run by groups like the ESA's Education and Outreach committee. The Entomological Foundation will transition from managing these events to becoming a financial supporter of them. In addition, other groups can petition the Foundation for funding. Funding grants was a core mission of the Foundation as recently as 2006. The difference is that this will now be the sole mission.
"The Board of Directors is excited about this enhanced focus for the Foundation," according to Foundation President Bob Peterson. "The education community is highly engaged in supporting the needs of educators, and this recent change will allow us to direct funding to where it will have a strong impact on young students."
Funding details, including timetables and a grant-review rubric, will be worked out by the Board in the coming months. This information will be published on www.entfdn.org as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime, we encourage supporters to help spread the word that the Foundation will be providing micro-grants to educators and others who can help encourage the development of the next generation of entomologists.
One requirement of funded grants will be to provide a report to the Foundation which will serve as additional resources for other teachers, furthering the impact of the resources invested.
If you support the idea of supporting teacher needs directly to donate generously to the Entomological Foundation.