The Jess & Mildred Fisher College of Science & Mathematics


Towson University Center for STEM Excellence

Bioscience Education and Outreach Program

Teacher Professional Development Opportunities for Prince George's County Public High Middle and School Science Teachers

Minority Student Pipeline Math and Science Partnership Grant
(MSP)²

We are very excited to be part of the 12 million dollar National Science Foundation Mathematics and Science Partnership grant, (MSP)², awarded through the University System of Maryland. One of the main goals of the (MSP)² grant is to increase the number of minority students entering STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines. Through this grant, Towson University offers a year-long professional development opportunities for both middle and high school science teachers in Prince George's County called the ExPERT Program.

The program features a year-long learning community that begins in the summer, during which teachers explore their views about the nature of science and work together to develop ways to explicitly teach students in the classroom about the nature of science. Nature of science instruction is part of the state mandated curriculum. Our program supports teachers in their efforts to teach students this state-mandated content by increasing their understanding of nature of science content as well as providing them with specific ways to teach it to their students.

In addition to learning scientific content (such as information found in textbooks) and scientific process skills (such as measuring, observing, predicting, etc.) national science standards mandate that students also learn about the values and characteristics of scientific knowledge (the nature of science). Many students see science simply as a collection of facts already known that need to be memorized for a test. This is because students are often not exposed to or taught about how that knowledge came about. Students who are exposed to the way scientists work, how they come up with questions to ask, how they collect and analyze data understand better that science is a dynamic and exciting endeavor full of creativity.

  • Check out the website Understanding Science (http://undsci.berkeley.edu) for more information about what is meant by the nature of science.
ExPERT Program Details

Extending Professional Experiences in Research for Teachers:
  • July 1 – August 2, 2013
  • Seven evening learning community meetings (2.5 hours each) during 2013–2014 school year
  • Stipend: $5,250 over 1 year
  • Four Continuing Professional Development credits upon successful completion of program
  • Summer Learning Community meetings will be held in the Inner Harbor of Baltimore (research placement locations will vary)
  • Open to all middle and high school science teachers in Prince George's County Public Schools

The ExPERT program is a year-long professional development experience that includes an intensive summer research experience. One of the most effective ways to learn about the nature of science is to experience it first hand, which is why the ExPERT program couples a professional learning community with the summer research experience.

Teachers selected to take part in the ExPERT Program will spend 5 weeks this summer (July 1- August 2) in a research lab working side by side with scientists, post-docs and graduate students. Through this intensive research placement you will be able experience authentic science first-hand. You will participate in cutting-edge research, allowing you to increase your lab skills, your science content knowledge and gain insight into how authentic science is conducted. In addition to working as part of a research lab during the summer you will also be part of a learning community with fellow ExPERT participants. During learning community meetings (in the summer and during the following school year) you will discuss your lab experience, explore your views of the nature of science and work together to develop ways to explicitly teach students in your classroom about the nature of science.

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