NSF Sponsors Workshop for Middle School Teachers
Morehead State University (MSU) faculty are working directly with teachers in grades 5 through 8 to improve science education in this region of Kentucky through a National Science Foundation – Math and Science Partnership (NSF-MSP) Start Grant. In a workshop on September 12, 2009, MSU faculty shared educational ideas and resources for teaching the “Biological Change” content strand with 21 teachers from 7 counties in the MSU service region. MSU faculty designed unit plans for each grade (5 through 8) that are integrated across the grade levels. For each unit, two or three inquiry-based lesson plans were fully developed and presented to area teachers. At the workshop, teachers worked through the activities for their grade level and discussed instructional strategies for effective use in their classrooms. In this way, teachers experienced the content from the perspective of a learner and a teacher. Teachers participating in the workshop received content resources and a classroom set of materials for teaching biological change. Teachers (and hopefully their students) were not the only ones to benefit from this workshop; MSU faculty did, too. The goal of this grant is to build a Partnership between higher education and public schools that will lead to successful submission of a larger NSF-MSP grant. The relationships that were established and the feedback received from the teachers will be used to inform future cooperative activities and has been helpful in establishing a productive Partnership in this region.
Key members of the Partnership are Dr. Doug Dennis (Biology and Chemistry), Dr. Lesia Lennex (Middle and Secondary Education), Dr. Jen O’Keefe (Earth and Space Sciences), Dr. Elizabeth Roland (Earth and Space Sciences), and Dr. Carol Wymer (Biology and Chemistry) from Morehead State University. Mr. Mike Matthews and Mr. Jay Padulah, both from Rowan County Schools, represent the school districts.