The School District of Palm Beach County, Florida Power and Light Company (FPL), and the Quantum Foundation have joined forces to support science education in Palm Beach County. FPL and the Quantum Foundation have generously funded the Minds-On, Hands-On, Lights-On Science Teacher Summer Institute which is taking place at Palm Springs Middle School until August 9, 2012.
This four-day institute will focus on building teachers’ enthusiasm for and capacity to conduct hands-on science investigations in their classrooms to engage students and spark their interest in science. Over 60 elementary and middle school science teachers will participate in a variety of interactive sessions that highlight effective, research-based instructional strategies in the areas of life, physical, and earth/space science.
Participants will also visit the Scripps Florida Institute to work side-by-side with Scripps scientists to explore how to apply mathematics and science concepts to engineering through hands-on robotics design activities. The institute will also feature Les Gold, an aerospace education specialist from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, and Dr. Larry Chew, Associate Professor from the University of Central Florida’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, who will immerse the teachers in a hands-on study of science inquiry.
The Palm Beach Zoo will conduct a virtual field trip for the teachers to demonstrate the potential of distance learning technology and the South Florida Science Museum will conduct Nitromania, which is one of their most popular chemistry outreach programs.
Most importantly, science teachers will have time to learn from each other, reflect on their instructional practices, and discuss ways to refine their pedagogical skills – with the ultimate goal of increasing student achievement in science. After the institute, teachers will continue to collaborate through an interactive blog that will be established to allow them to assist each other as they implement the strategies that they learned at the institute. Teachers will also share their knowledge with other science teachers when they return to their schools for the 2012-2013 school year.
Keith Oswald, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Learning Support for the School District of Palm Beach County, stated, “By providing science teachers with this opportunity to collaborate with fellow educators and experts in the STEM fields, FPL and the Quantum Foundation are certainly making a valuable contribution to science education and student achievement in Palm Beach County.”
“The Quantum Foundation is thrilled to be helping science teachers become experts at the hands-on activities that engage young minds and ultimately increase student performance. This project is especially impactful because it has the magic ingredients of a public school system, philanthropy and business – this combination is the key to any lasting community impact in education,” said Kerry Diaz, President of the Quantum Foundation.
For more information contact Wendy Spielman at (561) 357-1152 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Affairs Contact: Natalia Arenas – (561) 357-7662 – email@example.com