ASSET STEM Education: Elementary Program


“The bottom line is that supporting ASSET makes good business sense for a STEM company like Bayer. Not only are we helping to nurture and develop a scientifically literate American citizenry, but also the next generation of inventors, innovators and discoverers who are critical to our company’s long-term success.”

-- Gregory S. Babe, former President & Chief Executive Officer, Bayer Corporation and Bayer Material Science, LLC

Program Type

Curriculum/Instructional Materials
Teacher Development/Training
Hands on/Project-Based

Target Audience

Teachers/Educational Leaders


New Mexico


Pre-K - 5
Grades 6 - 8

 Accomplished link

Program Impact

ASSET's excellent hands-on educational materials have reached more than 7,000 Pennsylvania teachers and 225,000 students. Students of ASSET teachers spend more classroom time on science, score significantly higher on standard tests, and report more interest in the subject. ASSET has aspirations to reach almost 250,000 teachers and millions of students in the next ten years.


Program Overview

ASSET (Achieving Student Success through Excellence in Teaching) STEM Education is a national STEM improvement nonprofit that inspires innovation and excellence in STEM by providing highly effective educator professional development, hands-on classroom materials and consulting services to schools, universities and organizations.

Established by Bayer Corporation and several community partners in 1994, all of ASSET's programs are results-oriented, research- and inquiry-based and align with national and state standards. Since its inception, ASSET has commissioned independent evaluations that have consistently shown a positive effect on teacher development and student achievement. Based on its track record, ASSET was recently named the Pennsylvania representative to Battelle's STEMx national network. In 2010, ASSET was selected as one of the first-round recipients of a U.S. Department of Education Investing in Innovation Grant to validate its model in rural and high-needs schools. From 2006-2011, ASSET designed and implemented the statewide Science: It's Elementary initiative in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

How To Get Involved

It costs roughly $4 million over three years to train 1,000 new teachers who in turn reach 30,000 students, which amounts to just over $135 per student.


Cynthia Pulkowski, Executive Director

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Design Principles

The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against the Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.

  • Accomplished
  • Developing
  • Undeveloped

Overarching Principles

  • Need

    Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.

  • Evaluation

    Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.

  • Sustainability

    Ensure work is sustainable.

  • Replication and Scalability

    Demonstrate replicability and scalability.

  • Partnerships

    Create high impact partnerships

  • Capacity

    Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.

STEM Principles

  • Challenging and Relevant Content

    Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience

  • STEM Practices

    Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.

  • Inspiration

    Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.

  • Under-Represented Groups

    Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.