For Potential Participants
Newton’s Universe strives to enhance middle school students’ performance in physical science. It does this by allowing rural teachers to experience on-going job-embedded professional development that is content intensive and designed specifically for their needs and educational background. The project’s teacher courses also support and model inquiry instructional strategies, and along with the classroom kits and activities make it practical to implement the same practices in the middle school classroom. The project will also establish a sense of community among project participants through on-line partnerships with other rural teachers that will continue through the school years. Participants will also have on-line relationships with the project leaders at UK – and can communicate with them at any time about their conceptual understanding, classroom implementation and related teaching issues.
Criteria for participation
- Teach in grades 6, 7 and/or 8
- Teach Temperature, Heat & Energy, and Force & Motion concepts as a regular part of your curriculum
- Teach in a general education classroom consisting largely of students without special needs.
- Will remain with the project for 4 years (2006 – 2009) or 3 years (2007 – 2009) and who will continue teaching these middle school science concepts during those years
- Preference given teachers in the Appalachian region
Preference given to teachers who have not participated in recent AMSP physical science academies.
Previous participation in the Hands-On/Virtual courses offered through UK’s Department of Physics & Astronomy may affect eligibility.
Benefits to participating teachers
- enhanced understanding of standards based physics topics
- courses designed specifically for middle school teachers.
- learning through guided inquiry
- No cost to participate; free materials for courses and classrooms
- $500 per year stipend for 3 or 4 years
- Opportunity for upgrading your classroom technology
- Flexible course scheduling during each June/July.
- Work at your own site – no commuting for classes
How the project addresses standards
Annual Time Requirements
- 30-40 hours per course in June/July
- up to 8 additional hours for project meetings and assessments
- occasional follow up email communications and on-line discussions to keep the group in touch through the school year; possible interviews with project staff
- Commit to participate in the project for 3 to 4 years
- Actively complete each course within the designated time-frame
- Complete all teacher assessments and surveys
- Teach the course topics* to your middle school students as part of your regular curriculum using the project materials and activities.
- Devote 2 (possibly 3) class periods per year per class for student assessments and return all assessment data to the project
- Allow for observations by project coordinators in your classroom
- Keep project coordinators updated with your correct contact information
How the project will benefit your students
- 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
- Practice assessments in course topics (multiple choice and open response style)
- Increased interest in and enthusiasm for science
- Connect science to their everyday lives
Options for Credit
- Each course can earn 30 hours professional development credit. There is no charge for this option.
- Each course can earn 1 graduate credit. Costs for this option (unfortunately the grant cannot cover tuition):
- graduate tuition rate of $331 per credit (through summer 06), $368 per credit starting fall 06
- tuition rate is the same for KY residents or non-KY residents
- onetime grad school application fee of $40
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