VSI Science and Engineering Academy*
NOTE: The 2013-2014 Program is now FULL. Please contact us if you would like to be added to the wait list.
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) call for engaging students in the science and engineering practices in order to learn the core ideas and crosscutting concepts. New to these standards is the inclusion of engineering which provides a great opportunity for students to apply their understanding of science concepts to real world problems. But what is engineering? How is it related to science? And what does it look like in the classroom?
The VSI Science and Engineering Academy will focus on the knowledge and strategies teachers need to help students engage in science and engineering explorations as well as provide support as they implement their understanding to the classroom.
Audience: Teams of teachers of science in grades K-8
Dates: August 5-9 (includes 3 evening sessions) plus 3 Follow up dates NOTE: CHANGE IN DATES!!
Location: Lyndon State College
Format: Science/Engineering/Pedagogy Institute integrating science, engineering, inquiry, formative assessment, and relevant technology. An engineer, science professor and pedagogy specialist will work together to design and deliver the content and learning opportunities.
Stipend: $700 $800 stipend (note new stipend), unit materials, NSTA Learning Center Subscription, meals, and optional lodging.
- 5 days in the summer, August 5-9. Lyndon State College, 8:30-4:00 and three required evening sessions.
- 3 follow-up days during the school year
- Targeted Science Content through participation in NSTA’s SciPacks, self-directed online modules (10-16 hours). These learning experiences focus on a set of key content ideas and allow teachers to target and choose the content they need. For more information, please go to: NSTA Learning Center **
- Site-specific PLC work***. 3 professional learning community meetings will provide both the time and the collegial support to complete the requirements of the program. The PLCs will allow teams to examine key practices to enhance student learning, reflect on student progress, and plan next steps for instruction.
Content: Environmental Science and Engineering
*Summer Institute and 3 follow-up dates: Using a focus on environmental science and engineering content, Science and Engineering Academy teachers, as adult learners, will come to understand fundamental envronmental science concepts and enduring knowledge about the natural world and how these understandings are acquired through the practice of science. The content will center around conceptual ‘big ideas’ identified in part by the research on misconceptions, and there will be a priority on integrating math in meaningful ways. Teachers will engage in environmental engineering problems and explore the related science needed to solve the problem. These exercises allow for differentiation and scaffolding and will set the stage for content knowledge acquisition, use of technology, data collection, and data analysis, all of which will be components of the solutions they generate.
**Additional content support will be addressed in 2 ways: (1) Via targeted, individualized support the teachers receive as they design their unit and engineering task. (2) Via NSTA’s Learning Center, teachers will gain additional science content and learn of pedagogical implications for student learning by participating in self-directed online learning experiences (SciPacks) related to environmental science concepts. (3) Access to the professors for ongoing support. During the institute, teachers will be able to ask the institute’s science professors in person for clarification, receive feedback on their assignments, and learn about links to helpful resources. Following the eight-day residential portion of the program, this support will extend across the school year with online discussion forums and follow up meetings.
***Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and continued support for science teacher leaders. VSI staff will work with current VSI and district science teacher leaders to establish and co-facilitate on-site Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) in the team’s school or district. These PLCs will meet three times during the school year to provide sustained support to the teams beyond the institute and follow-up meetings as the new learning is implemented in classrooms. Research shows that meeting with teachers and providing a regular space, time, and a protocol for reflection on practice will grow expertise to improve student performance (ETS 2001).