A part of the SERC Teacher Professional Development Program Collection
CSU NASA Summer Professional Development Institutes
Program URL: http://www.csufresno.edu/smec/events/summerinstituteprogram.html
David Andrwes, Ph.D.Director, SMEC. (Contact Info)
Science and Mathematics Education Center at California State University-Fresno
A variety of Professional Development opportunities are offered through SMEC, including workshops for in-service math and science teachers and pre-service teachers.
In collaboration with NASA an Earth Science Summer Institute, Mission to Earth: Earth Science from the Core to the Edge of the Solar System was developed and offered to in-service science teachers.
Mission to Earth "is an integrated introduction to the oceans and the atmosphere, with an emphasis on geology, marine geology and geophysics, and physical oceanography. The course will address the origin and evolution of the ocean basins; sedimentation, global tectonics; ocean currents, waves, and tides; ocean acoustics, gravity and magnetic field measurements and interpretations; the technology used to explore the oceans; and environmental issues and concerns. The course content will be aligned with California State Science Standards. Topics to be covered include plate tectonics and the ocean floor, marine provinces, marine sediments and the history of the oceans, ocean circulation, tides, weather and atmospheric circulation, waves and water dynamics, the coastal ocean, beach and shoreline processes, and the marine record of global climate change. The course will make extensive use of measurements, data, and imagery acquired by NASA remote sensing systems and marine core data acquired by the International Ocean Drilling Program." from Program Description.
What was the impetus for the program?
How is the program structured?
Who is involved?
The Summer Professional Development Institutes are highly supported by faculty involvement. Over the course of the program's history, approximately 60 to 70% of math and science faculty at CSU have participated in the summer workshops, including faculty from geology, environmental science, mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology, and education. Each workshop includes a faculty leader as well as a representative from the local school district as a co-leader to ensure that connections are made to the classroom.
40 to 60 teachers participate in the summer workshops. Participants include both in-service and pre-service teachers.
How is the program evaluated?
How is the program maintained and funded?
Hints for starting a program like this:
- Investigate funding opportunities to ensure continued support for future workshops
- Communicate with school districts: many school districts provide professional development funds for teachers, which can assist in funding workshops through participation fees
- Investigate institutional opportunities for funding faculty stipends for leading summer workshops
- Program organizers should be familiar with both science and education, to ensure that the workshops translate into the K-12 classroom and should be able to support science faculty in effectively leading workshops
- Coordinate with the Education Department at your institution
- Learn about good practices for running professional development workshops
- Ensure that workshop content is aligned with what teachers are teaching in their classroom
- Include a co-instructor from a local school district to ensure that the workshop content can be translated into the K-12 classroom