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Faculty help teachers statewide improve science, math ed
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University education experts will work with school districts on both sides of the state to improve science and math instruction, thanks to a federal grant.
The Mathematics and Science Partnership grant will provide $1.7 million for each of the next three years. It will be shared by six education organizations statewide, according to the state Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn, whose office distributes the money.
In one project, WSU College of Education faculty on the Pullman and Tri-Cities campuses are partnering with the Pomeroy and Clarkston school districts and Educational Service District (ESD) 123 (Pasco).
"We will provide professional learning opportunities for 36 elementary and middle school teachers,” said Andy Cavagnetto, WSU associate professor, who heads the project. "They will learn how to immerse students in doing science in order to learn science, how to give them a rich understanding of scientific principles and practices as called for in the forthcoming science education standards.”
Other College of Education faculty members involved are Judith Morrison, Kathryn Baldwin and Olusola Adesope. Also contributing their expertise are Georgia Boatman, regional science coordinator at ESD 123; and WSU faculty members Catherine Cooper, geophysics; Shane Brown, engineering, and Asaph Cousins, plant metabolism and physiology.
The project is called "Enhancing Understanding of Scientific Concepts and Practices with the Science Writing Heuristic Approach, Concept Mapping & Instructional Design.”
The other project, "Increasing STEM Achievement Through Multi-Level Learning Inquiry Teams – STEM-LIT,” is headed by ESD 112 in southwestern Washington. It will involve 40 teachers from sixth through eighth grades in the Evergreen and Vancouver school districts.
WSU Vancouver faculty members participating are Tamara Holmlund Nelson, Kristin Lesseig, Alex Dimitrov and David Slavit.
"The focus is on development of middle school math and science teachers’ content knowledge and on student-centered instruction through the use of ‘design challenges,’ which are integrated, project-based learning experiences,” Slavit said.
Other partners in the project are Clark College and SEH America.
All materials developed through the partnership grant projects will be available for use by schools across the state. For more information, see OSPI Awards Mathematics and Science Partnership Grant Money.