This is discussion about CONNECT-ED: Professional Development in Science and Mathematics.
This appears to be a well-developed and important partnership. I like the idea of training teachers by giving them an inquiry-based experience. I wonder how the BMS scientists are involved in their professional development.
In response to Ali Holstein's comment, the scientists from BMS -- as well as from other companies and from Rider and Princeton Universities and Raritan Valley CC -- serve as "content advisers" on the teams that create and present Big Idea learning modules. The scientist is a member of the team, which also includes 3 teachers (1 elementary, 1 middle, and 1 high school)and the district science supervisor. Over a 6-month period, they meet to choose the big idea they want their module to focus on (usually using the AAAS "Atlas for Science Literacy" as a tool), identify developmentally appropriate inquiry learning activities that demonstrate the big idea at the elementary, middle and high school levels, and make the concept connections across grade levels. While all team members have some science background, the industry or university scientist's knowledge and experience are deeper, and he/she also brings real-world connections into the content conversations that occur as the team develops the module. The team scientist is also with the team when they present their module during summer institutes, again adding a strong content dimension to the program. In addition, each summer a scientist serves in the role of "Lead Scientist" for the week-long summer institute, helping teachers make concept connections from one day's module to the next.
The interesting thing about this is that the learning occurs in both directions. Teachers learn content and real-world connections from the scientist, and the scientist learns about how people learn science. This is particularly valuable for the university scientists, who also teach undergraduates. Their college-level teaching is often influenced in a positive way through their exposure to inquiry-based teaching, which the K-12 teachers on their team are very experienced in. It is truly a symbiotic relationship.
I am very happy for your accomplishments.. please support the idea i have entered... it's not about wining the contest, it's about who can help the most in the area of STEM education and i am sure to bring you more ideas with the idea i presented across the entire internet -The Proposal-
Keep up the good work, our students can't help but benefit from this type of collaboration among teachers. Working together, not competing is surely the best approach.
May the seeds that you sow bear much good fruit.
Ronald, thank you for your good wishes. In our experience, teachers are anxious to collaborate when their learning relates directly to their own instruction and to their own students' learning. And they often comment in particular on how much they value talking with teachers at other grade levels, because talking about what comes before and after your own grade helps reveal how the science or math concepts develop/connect. Then they can design their instruction in ways that help their students make those connections, too. If only time for collaborative learning could be built into the school day!