LANL Connections: Pilot Summer Program Supports Science Teachers

New Mexico Public Education Department’s Math and Science Director Lesley Galyas, left, visits with teachers at a recent workshop. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

Pilot Summer Program Supports Science Teachers

The July edition of LANL Connections is out and features a story about Northern New Mexico kindergarten-through-eighth-grade science teachers spending a week exploring the concept of “matter,” a vital underpinning for many scientific disciplines including physics and chemistry.

The 26 attendees, teacher leaders and instructional coaches, were selected for the pilot program from the region. The inaugural Science Leadership Institute was coordinated by the Lab’s Math and Science Academy.

The educators spent their mornings in small groups involved in hands-on science investigation and their afternoons discussing how to advance science literacy. Techniques on how to detect student scientific misunderstanding and corrective actions were also included in on the agenda.

In addition, the teachers got to meet with two Lab scientists who made presentations, respectively, one on the origin of elements through star explosions and the other on how knowledge of the elements and their properties are being used to explore Mars.

The participants received a stipend and teaching materials courtesy of a grant from Chevron Corporation. Other organizations involved in the workshop included the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation’s Inquiry Science Education Consortium, and educators from the Lab’s Bradbury Science Museum. Materials from WestEd (a nonprofit professional-development organization were used for the program. The New Mexico Public Education Department’s Math and Science Director, Lesley Galyas, visited the workshop to observe the pilot and discuss professional development in math and science at the state level.

For more information on the Lab’s education programs, visit the Community Program Office’s pages.

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