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Paper: Professional Development Workshops for K–8 Teachers at the Planetary Science Institute
Volume: 443, Earth and Space Science: Making Connections in Education and Public Outreach
Page: 269
Authors: Lebofsky, L. A.; Anderson, S. W.; Bleamaster, L. F.; Buxner, S. R.; Cañizo, T. L.; Croft, S. K.; Crown, D. A.; Kortenkamp, S.; Pierazzo, E.
Abstract: The Planetary Science Institute, in partnership with the Tucson Regional Science Center, offers a series of professional development workshops targeting elementary and middle school science teachers in Tucson, Arizona. Using NASA data sets, the results of currently funded research investigations, and a team of earth and space scientists and educators, these workshops provide teachers with in-depth content knowledge of fundamental concepts in astronomy, geology, and planetary science. By participating in hands-on exercises using images, maps, and the results from their own experiments, the teachers model the processes and skills scientists use. With a stronger knowledge of science content and how science is actually conducted, the workshops instill greater confidence in teachers' ability to teach Earth and space science. More than 80 K–9 science teachers from over 60 schools in the Tucson area have attended nine offerings of our three workshops. Workshop participants teach over 5,500 students and represent schools with minority student populations ranging from 46% to 95%. A measure of our success is that nearly 50% of our teachers have attended two or three of our workshops, and teachers cite the hands-on activities, modeling of scientific process, and interaction with scientists as the three top benefits of the workshops.
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