Teacher Training in the Natural Sciences at Colby College

Colby provides training for local area science teachers in two forms. Workshops are held periodically to train teachers on techniques and methodology in the sciences and the use of equipment in the Area Resource Center. In addition, funding has been made available to allow released time for high school teachers to take a class at Colby to enhance their background in a specific science area. Several recent examples are given below:

Information technology: Five workshops were held during the 1998-99 academic year. Participating teachers were from four surrounding school districts. Most of the workshops emphasized strategies for using the internet more effectively as a resource for teachers and for classroom exercises.

DNA profiling: Chemistry Department hosted workshops for area teachers. The workshops included a hands-on laboratory exercise allowing the teachers first hand experience with the techniques.

Project WILD This program, held at Colby, was sponsored by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Maine Audubon Society. Project WILD is a supplemental environmental and conservation activity guide for grades K-12. It was an all day hands-on workshop where all participants were involved in experiencing the activities, practicing teaching acitivities and evaluating how well the skills for the needs of different people.

Inquiry-based learning:. We have recognized that inquiry-based learning requires appropriate equipment and teacher training to be effective. During the summers of 1999 and 2000 we have provided mini grants for area teachers to develop age-approprite curricula using equipment available through the Area Resource Center. These lesson plans have been disseminated to the greater community via the web. (http://www.colby.edu/cpse/equipment2/equip.html)

Geology, GIS, and mapping: Colby has helped support a geology gifted and talented program for area high school students. Over the course of the year the students will construct a geologic map of the Colby campus. GIS maps for the campus area were generated for the group including some of the data they had taken with GPS instruments. As a final final project the students will develop a K-5 earth science curriculum using the Colby campus as the field site.

Robotics: Colby has helped support a robotics gifted and talented program. The robots used in the program were purchased using AIRE funds. CPSE funds will also help support student TA for the program.

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