NI CEO to chair Texas Science Advisory Council |

NI CEO to chair Texas Science Advisory Council

Governor Taps Long NI History of Leadership in Improving Education to Ensure Future Economic Competitiveness

Dec. 19, 2005 – Texas Gov. Rick Perry has asked National Instruments President and CEO Dr. James Truchard to chair the Industrial Advisory Council for the Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (TSTEM) initiative, which directly addresses the declining interest and preparation of young people to pursue careers in technical fields. NI and the NI Foundation are donating $1 million to the TSTEM initiative, a joint effort between Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the Texas Education Agency (TEA), the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT).

“Education is the lynchpin in creating a strong workforce to bring Texas and the nation into the 21st century,” said Gov. Perry. “While gains have been made in our schools, we still have an achievement gap that will lead to an opportunity gap unless more students of all backgrounds become proficient in science, math and technology. This initiative will ensure more students have the skills they need to succeed in college and the 21st century workplace.”

During the next five years, the TSTEM initiative will establish 35 small schools that offer focused teaching and learning opportunities in STEM subjects in Texas’ most challenged school districts. Dr. Truchard will help align high school, post-secondary education and economic development activities to ensure students receive a high-quality education in STEM subjects as well as career opportunities in these fields.

“I’m honored to support this bold initiative and leverage the leadership of our state along with generous support of private funders such as the Gates, Dell and NI foundations,” said Dr. Truchard. “In order for this unique educational program to have a long-lasting, economic impact on Texas, more companies and organizations must contribute their time and resources. A strong STEM educational program is necessary to remain globally competitive.”

The initiative also includes a STEM-focused professional development and technical assistance initiative that will create five to six Texas Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Centers to ensure Texas has the best math and science teachers and schools. In addition, TSTEM will establish a statewide network to ensure all Texas high schools are positioned to adopt math, science and engineering teaching techniques honed at the academies.

“The success of the TSTEM initiative relies on the collaboration of high-tech companies and foundations,” said John Fitzpatrick, THSP executive director. “National Instruments is a proven leader in advancing science and engineering education, and this initiative will greatly benefit from Dr. Truchard’s passion and expertise in developing innovative technology and understanding the technology demands of Texas’ future high school graduates.”

An active supporter of National Instruments academic initiatives, Dr. Truchard works to generate excitement about pursuing science and engineering careers through efforts such as The Infinity Project and Project Lead the Way as well as student competitions including FIRST Robotics, FIRST LEGO League and BEST Robotics. National Instruments also supports nationally recognized STEM education programs at the University of Texas at Austin, including the College of Natural Science’s UTeach and the College of Engineering’s DTEACh. Dr. Truchard cofounded National Instruments in 1976, while working at the University of Texas. Dr. Truchard is active at the University of Texas at Austin, where he served on the Committee of 125 and is a member and former chairman of the Engineering Foundation Advisory Council, a member of the Chancellor’s Council and a former member of the university’s Electrical and Computer Engineering External Advisory Committee. Dr. Truchard is a founding member of the Austin Software Council and was a member of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s Advisory Council on the Digital Economy.

About National Instruments
National Instruments is committed to enhancing engineering and science education worldwide by providing educators and students with software and hardware to connect the curriculum with the real world. NI is a technology pioneer and leader in virtual instrumentation – a revolutionary concept that has changed the way engineers and scientists in industry, government and academia approach measurement and automation. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 3,800 employees and direct operations in nearly 40 countries. In 2004, the company sold products to more than 25,000 companies in 90 countries. For the past six years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.
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