Outreach & Extension: Teacher Professional Development
Contacts: Adam Frederick, Jackie Takacs
Chesapeake Teacher Research Fellowship Program
The Chesapeake Teacher Research Fellowship (CTRF) program, part of the Environmental Science Education Partnership (ESEP), immerses 6th-12th grade teachers in Chesapeake research to advance their scientific inquiry skills and their understanding of regional ecological and environmental topics and issues. Teacher fellows spend the summer working with scientists on a research project at a University of Maryland laboratory. With support from the ESEP team, they also develop associated classroom applications that support state science standards and provide meaningful outdoor Bay and stream experiences. The CTRF is made possible with generous support from the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office and the National Park Service National Capital Region.
Web-based marine education lessons
Web-based lessons have brought marine education into the information age. Three interactive web-based lessons focused on marine science education have become popular web sites for educators locally, nationally, and internationally — Biofilms and Biodiversity, A Dichotomous Key Primer, and Oysters in the Classroom. Teachers can use these lessons online or download them to their own classroom computers. This feature enables the Education Focus Team to track the use of these lessons and the scope of their reach — the lesson plans have been downloaded from Maryland to California and from Australia to Venezuela — 50 states and over 60 countries in all. In addition, the Oysters in the Classroom site has received recognition as an exemplary web resource from the NSTA SciLinks Program and has been endorsed by the Maryland State Department of Education as a model lesson in biology.
Environmental Science Education Partnership (ESEP)
Working within the university's marine science laboratories and programs, Sea Grant Extension has played an integral role in the formation of the Environmental Science Education Partnership (ESEP). The ESEP, an experienced team of science education specialists, bridges the gap between the research community and public audiences to engage individuals in the process of science. The ESEP offers exciting and innovative education and outreach programs and products that build directly on science research at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (UMBI), and Maryland Sea Grant (MDSG). Through the ESEP, teachers, students, and local citizens work side-by-side with scientists, explore authentic scientific datasets, and learn state-of-the-art research tools and techniques at four research facilities — Appalachian Laboratory, Center of Marine Biotechnology, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, and Horn Point Laboratory.
Vertically Integrated Partnerships K-16
As part of a large NSF-funded project, Maryland Sea Grant is partnering with multiple universities and the Montgomery County Public Schools to help overhaul the way that science is taught throughout the state. "Vertically Integrated Partnerships K-16" (VIP K-16) aims to enrich science teacher knowledge in order to improve high school science instruction and to improve the teaching skills of college science faculty, with the goal of ehancing the quality of undergraduate general education science courses. The program provides summer institutes and school-year collaborative sessions aimed at developing best instructional practices and instructional materials linked to high school assessments. Phasing in biology, earth/space science and physics/chemistry over a three-year period, VIP K-16 engages 350 science teachers serving approximately 37,000 high school students, and substantively involving 36 university faculty.
For more information visit www.science-as-inquiry.org