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Project Info: Project SEEDS: Science Education Enhancing the Development of Skills, K-6
staff: Jane Hazen Dessecker (Principal Investigator)
Richard Dinko (Principal Investigator)
Linda Petz (Lead Staff)
grant award #: 9453920
funding began: 04-01-1995
funding ends: 03-31-2000
project focus: Science
grade levels: Elementary
venue type: Suburban,Rural
abstract: SEEDS is a community driven and teacher led project that is revolutionizing the way elementary science is being taught and learned in Stark County, Ohio. The Education Enhancement Partnership (TEEP), a local school-business alliance; the Stark County Education Service Center; Ashland University; and 16 surrounding public school districts and 3 private schools have joined forces to implement the SEEDS project. The 7 rural, 5 suburban, 4 urban and 3 private and parochial schools consist of 30,000 elementary students and 1,000 elementary teachers of science. Activities are also being coordinated with the NSF-supported Ohio Statewide Systemic Initiative. The goal of SEEDS is to develop a hands-on, minds-on elementary science curriculum that is also integrated with the language arts and mathematics to provide an intensive series of professional growth opportunities and options for teachers to stimulate systemic change. This curriculum will meet the recent Ohio State Model Curriculum and state proficiency in science requirements. Lead teachers/leadership teams (165 teachers), selected prior to the start of the project, receive professional development in leadership skills, content, pedagogy, and authentic assessment in two summers. In the second summer, school districts begin their "Immersion Training" where the leadership teams, along with principals, administrators, and university professors, train other teachers in their districts on the hands-on instructional materials. A constructivist approach is utilized so participants actively learn through hands-on experiences about the exemplary science units that they are to implement in the classroom. These materials are the NSF-funded Full Option Science System (FOSS), Science Curriculum Improvement Study (SCIS), and the EDC-Insights. Through the use of a 150-hour Personal Development Plan, district teams and teachers will continue to grow professionally and meet their individual needs. Parental involvement takes place at the district level throughout the project with family science nights, Open House nights, instructional material activities, and newsletters. School principals are also involved through leadership teams which have to participate in training which focuses on concerns of implementation. The institutionalization of the lead teacher/leadership teams will insure the ongoing and continued success of the program. The networking of teachers and students and the dissemination of materials and ideas is done through a local, state and national electronic communication system, SEEDSNet. The SEEDS home page is