Summer science institute pairs Binghamton University and city schools
Binghamton City School District fourth grade teachers are in the classroom this week, teaming up with Binghamton University faculty and students to develop special “research lessons” that they envision will give their young students a better understanding of science.
Funded by a $1.2 million National Science Foundation grant, the sessions on the University campus are part of a three-year program, titled “Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education.” The program is in its second year and is designed to improve teaching practice and promote ongoing links between future researchers and K-12 educators and students by teaming graduate and senior undergraduate students or “fellows,” with Binghamton city schoolteachers.
The weeklong summer training institute links 14 Binghamton city school district teachers with 14 University students to develop instructional units using a “5E”teaching cycle - engage, explore, explain, elaborate, evaluate – which was designed to address students’ classic misconceptions about science.
The schedule also includes sessions on the current curriculum standards of the Binghamton City school district and "show-and-tell" styled field trips on the University campus so teachers could see potential resources/field trips for their students. Teachers and University students will also work on developing instructional units designed to identify, challenge and re-construct children's ideas about science.
Binghamton University faculty involved with the project include: Thomas O’Brien, associate professor of education, and the director of the Division of Education; and Nancy Stamp, a professor of biology at Binghamton and the principal investigator on the project.