School of Education, ECS, and Arts & Sciences host teacher workshop
School of Education, ECS, and Arts & Sciences host teacher workshopMarch 31, 2006Carol K. Masiclatclkim@syr.edu
Today, 70 secondary science teachers from 25 school districts around Central New York will converge at Syracuse University to participate in “Teach Locally, Think Globally III: Using Environmental Issues in Science Classrooms to Meet New York State Learning Standards,” a unique workshop that provides teachers of biology, chemistry, earth sciences, physics and technology with advanced insights and resources to expand their content knowledge. The workshop is taking place from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at the Skybarn on SU’s South Campus.
Focusing on local and national environmental issues, 10 teams of teachers and University Fellows will share innovative, process-oriented classroom initiatives and assessments based on three years of working in partnership. In addition, resources developed by this partnership will be introduced and disseminated for immediate classroom use. Workshop participants will return to their classrooms with new and relevant hands-on field and lab activities to jump-start scientific inquiry, including a CD with more than 100 lesson plans that use environmental issues in science classrooms to meet NYS learning standards.
“This project has been a truly wonderful example of the benefits of interdisciplinary initiatives,” says Sandy Trento, assistant dean and director of Continuous Education and Global Outreach at the School of Education. “Our partners are the School of Education, the L.C. Smith College of Engineering & Computer Science (ECS), The College of Arts and Sciences and the Study Council at Syracuse University, a school district membership organization within the School of Education.”
“Think Locally, Teach Globally III” is part of Syracuse University/OnondagaCounty Schools Partnership for Improvement of Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (SMET), an education project funded by the National Science Foundation. The major goals of the SMET project are to:
- establish a mutually beneficial parallel educational partnership between school districts and SU;
- leverage SU research- and practice-generated expertise in SMET pedagogy, educational technology integration and assessment through Graduate Teaching Fellows’ daily participation in the school system;
- develop innovative, process-oriented, standards-based, hands-on SMET curriculum units and resources that use local environmental issues to connect teaching basic SMET concepts in biology, chemistry, earth sciences, physics and technology;
- enhance K-12 teachers’ content knowledge through dissemination of new SMET teaching resources through print materials and the Internet and through professional development workshops for science teachers;
- establish content-rich, inquiry-based benchmark programs in schools through mutually beneficial collaborations between SMET graduate students and science teachers as a forerunner for a permanent collaboration model and replicable national model.
As part of the project, 10 graduate students, or fellows, were selected to teach science lessons from Syracuse City School District’s Nottingham, Fowler and Henninger high schools, and Lafayette and Homer high schools. Fellows provide content rich training in SMET pedagogy for area science teachers. Materials and resources are developed for appropriate grade levels and SMET activity-based units emphasize science process, inquiry and critical thinking skills. SMET Fellows will provide content-rich training sessions for area science teachers.
The three-year, $1.7 million project is a partnership and collaboration between SU and 18 Onondaga County school districts. Two of these school districts, Syracuse and Lafayette, will be classroom sites for the project and serve as project centers that share and disseminate initiatives and local environmental experiments integrating science with technology. Marvin Druger, chair of the Department of Science Education and Meredith Professor of Biology at SU, is the principal investigator on the project. Co-investigators are Trento; Tiffany A. Koszalka, associate professor of instructional design, development and evaluation; Samuel Clemence, professor of civil and environmental engineering; and Peter Plumley, research associate professor in ECS. The project coordinator is Amy Vanderlyke, senior program associate in Continuing Education and Global Outreach in the School of Education.
Topics planned for Friday’s workshop include: wildlife forensics; rebuilding New Orleans: a systems approach; avian flu; gene jumping; and earthquake simulators. Participating teachers will gain new insights on creating opportunities for students to collect and analyze original data and expand their knowledge to close gaps in meeting state and national educational standards.
Scheduled to occur during the course of the workshop is the presentation of $10,000 from Bristol-Myers Squibb for annual teaching scholarships. The company has given a total of $180,000 over the last 18 years for such scholarships to the Department of Science Teaching.
“Teach Locally, Teach Globally III” is sponsored by The National Science Foundation’s Syracuse University/Onondaga County Schools Partnership for the Improvement of Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology Education; the School of Education; ECS; The College of Arts and Sciences; and the Study Council at SU.