STEM Specialists for the Next Generation - Cohort 1
Kids at Science is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) foundation established by educators and science advocates with a mission to support schools and districts to promote hands-on, research-based science education for children. Since 2007, we have supported numerous districts in sustaining their science programs. Kids at Science is now accepting nominations for the 2012-2014 STEM Specialists for the Next Generation (SSNG) program. We will provide a strategic, high-quality science professional development model for key STEM Specialists throughout Orange County. This two-year intensive professional development project will target 50 teachers in grades K through 5. Each year, participants will take part in three days of intensive academy and bi-monthly follow-up training during the school year to develop leadership skills and gain tools to lead other educators, parents, and the community regarding the new, national science standards.
Selected teachers will receive in-depth training in the new national science standards and gain contextual knowledge that will allow them to promote inquiry-based learning rather than simply implement lessons derived from kits or textbooks. They will form professional learning communities, to support each other throughout the project. These STEM Specialists will also help develop multimedia resources to be shared with their district and state and on a national level. They will have the opportunity to enhance their own knowledge of difficult science concepts and add new dimensions to their science instruction. With the support of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation in training teachers to incorporate inquiry-based instruction in their classrooms and reflect on and adjust their practice, SSNG will go a long way toward improving science education for all students in the Beckman@Science districts and establish a model of implementation to share at the county, state, and national levels.
Based on ADA of each school district, administrators and/or educators may nominate up to 10 teachers to become STEM Specialists. This provides an opportunity for each school district to develop outstanding STEM teachers to support, prepare, and implement the new science standards and incorporate STEM in K-5 curriculum.