About the Project
Making Learning Memorable
Newton’s Universe is a multi-year professional development project in physics and technology for middle school teachers in rural communities. It’s about standards based content in physical science, inquiry strategies, integrating technology into teaching and learning, and ultimately seeing their students become better learners.
Newton’s Universe empowers teachers:
- Enhances teachers’ conceptual base in standards based physics concepts through four courses designed specifically for middle school teachers. Though delivered via distance learning, they are primarily hands-on, centering on guided inquiry investigations.
Course Timeline (Page will open in a new window. Close Timeline window to return to Newton's Universe)
- Participating teachers complete one course per year in the sequence shown. Each successive course builds on the previous course(s) for depth of understanding.
- One course is completed each June/July. Each course is equivalent in effort to at least a 1-week intensive workshop.
The project is open to
- grade 6, 7 and 8 teachers who teach Temperature, Heat & Energy, and Force & Motion concepts as a regular part of their curriculum
- We are accepting teachers who will remain with the project for 3 years (2007 – 2009) or 2 years (2008 – 2009) and who will continue teaching these concepts in middle school science during those years.
- Free materials: all course and classroom materials, classroom activities, and practice assessments are provided. There are no costs to the district or to teachers.
- up to $1500 in stipends ($500 per year for 3 years)
- Opportunity to apply for up to $1200 in technology upgrade funds
- Options for convenient scheduling to complete the coursework during a 6-week period each June and July
- Ability to do the course work at their own site - no need to commute (though we will have introductory and summative regional meetings in person).
- Option to do the course work with others nearby in the program or to work independently.
- Each course can earn 1 graduate credit (but grant cannot cover tuition)
Raising Student Performance
Middle school students of participating teachers will experience:
- More opportunities to learn science by doing science, using extensive classroom materials kits
- Inquiry activities designed for the kit materials
- Activities designed to develop process skills and conceptual understanding
- Deeper understanding of science content
- Practice assessments in course topics (multiple choice and open response style)
- Increased interest in and enthusiasm for science
- Many connections of science with their everyday lives
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