Teacher Professional Development Opportunities for Prince George's County Public High Middle and School Science Teachers
Minority Student Pipeline Math and Science Partnership Grant
We are very excited to be part of the 12 million dollar National Science Foundation Mathematics and Science Partnership grant, (MSP)², awarded through the University System of Maryland. One of the main goals of the (MSP)² grant is to increase the number of minority students entering STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines. Through this grant, Towson University offers a year-long professional development opportunities for both middle and high school science teachers in Prince George's County called the ExPERT Program.
The program features a year-long learning community that begins in the summer, during which teachers explore their views about the nature of science and work together to develop ways to explicitly teach students in the classroom about the nature of science. Nature of science instruction is part of the state mandated curriculum. Our program supports teachers in their efforts to teach students this state-mandated content by increasing their understanding of nature of science content as well as providing them with specific ways to teach it to their students.
Extending Professional Experiences in Research for Teachers:
July 1 – August 2, 2013
Seven evening learning community meetings (2.5 hours each) during 2013–2014 school year
Stipend: $5,250 over 1 year
Four Continuing Professional Development credits upon successful completion of program
Summer Learning Community meetings will be held in the Inner Harbor of Baltimore (research placement locations will vary)
Open to all middle and high school science teachers in Prince George's County Public Schools
The ExPERT program is a year-long professional development experience that includes an intensive summer research experience. One of the most effective ways to learn about the nature of science is to experience it first hand, which is why the ExPERT program couples a professional learning community with the summer research experience.
Teachers selected to take part in the ExPERT Program will spend 5 weeks this summer (July 1- August 2) in a research lab working side by side with scientists, post-docs and graduate students. Through this intensive research placement you will be able experience authentic science first-hand. You will participate in cutting-edge research, allowing you to increase your lab skills, your science content knowledge and gain insight into how authentic science is conducted. In addition to working as part of a research lab during the summer you will also be part of a learning community with fellow ExPERT participants. During learning community meetings (in the summer and during the following school year) you will discuss your lab experience, explore your views of the nature of science and work together to develop ways to explicitly teach students in your classroom about the nature of science.
Frequently Asked Questions about ExPERT
Question 1: What do you mean by the Nature of Science?
Answer: In addition to learning scientific content (such as information found in textbooks) and scientific process skills (such as measuring, observing, predicting, etc.) national science standards mandate that students also learn about the values and characteristics of scientific knowledge (the nature of science). Many students see science simply as a collection of facts already known that need to be memorized for a test. This is because students are often not exposed to or taught about how that knowledge came about. Students who are exposed to the way scientists work, how they come up with questions to ask, how they collect and analyze data understand better that science is a dynamic and exciting endeavor full of creativity.
Check out the website Understanding Science (http://undsci.berkeley.edu) for more information about what is meant by the nature of science.
Question 2: What is the expected commitment for the ExPERT Program?
Answer: ExPERT teachers must be able to commit five full weeks (July 1 – August 2) in the summer to the program.
Eight days in a summer learning community group
Four weeks in a research lab (UMCP, Baltimore campus of UMB, UMBC, or UMCES)
ExPERT teachers must also commit to seven monthly learning community meetings during the 2013-2014 school year (2.5 hours each, in the evenings at Owens Science Center).
Question 3: Can I choose to participate in only part of the program?
Answer: No. All applicants who are accepted into the ExPERT program must commit to both the summer and school year portion of the program.
Question 4: Who is eligible?
Answer: All Prince George's County Public School system middle and high school science teachers are invited to apply. Because this program is funded by an NSF grant that focuses exclusively on Prince George's County, Maryland, only middle and high school science teachers from that county are eligible.
Question 5: I am a Prince George's County middle school teacher and I thought the ExPERT program was available to high school teachers only?
Answer: Previously only high school teachers could apply, but this year the program is open to both middle and high school teachers in Prince George's County.
Question 6: How do I apply?
Answer: Application deadline for the ExPERT program is January 31, 2013. You can find the application for the program online.