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Project Info: Building Bridges to the Future: The Next Generation of Science-Enabled Elementary School Teachers
staff: Susan Johnson (Principal Investigator)
Dick Dettmer (Project Director)
Larry Henriksen (Evaluator)
Bobbi Speicher (Lead Staff)
Naomi Heidelberg (Lead Staff)
grant award #: 9550090
funding began: 08-15-1995
funding ends: 12-31-2000
project focus: Science
grade levels: Elementary
venue type: Suburban,Rural
abstract: This Local Systemic Change Through Teacher Enhancement project is the result of a collaboration between 13 small rural school districts, one large urban school district and Ball State University. The project combines the resources of the school districts, the university, the Indiana Department of Education, private organizations, and the community to institute and support an integrated, inquiry-based, hands-on science curriculum in the elementary schools of the region. The project is an example of the university and school districts that have teachers, previously trained by past NSF projects, who are ready to become leaders in the district-wide efforts. This group of lead teachers work with scientists, science educators, and master teachers to plan and staff the summer leadership institutes and form a leadership team core at each school site. The role of the school team is to mentor and educate teachers in elementary science teaching and reform. The team members participate in three summer institutes and academic year follow-up courses. Each year they mentor new teachers who becomes part of the leadership team and participates in academic year classes. This mentoring process is repeated each year with a total of 650 teachers directly impacted by NSF funds. This number represents all teachers per school for 40 schools in 13 school districts. The curriculum to be implemented includes nationally validated materials and NSF-supported Full Option Science System (FOSS), EDC-Insights, Science and Technology for Children (STC), Great Explorations in Mathematics and Science (GEMS), and STARLAB materials as instructional modules for the school districts.