Information for Advisors
Your student is applying for a GK-12 fellowship for 2011-2012. We would appreciate a letter from you indicating your opinion of your student's suitability for the program and confirming that you approve his/her participation in this fellowship program. Please email your letter to Rosemary Gillespie, project PI (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Betsy Mitchell, project coordinator (email@example.com).
ABOUT THE PROGRAM: The Berkeley Natural History Museums' GK-12 project "Exploring California Biodiversity" is an NSF-funded program that offers graduate students an opportunity to work in K-12 schools in the Bay Area. Its goals are:
to give graduate students experience teaching science in K-12 schools thereby enhancing their communication and leadership skills so that they are better able to teach about science and convey the results of their own work to any audience;
to provide science expertise and training for K-12 teachers, and to enrich science offerings in public middle and high schools;
To date, 41 graduate students have worked as GK-12 fellows in classrooms at six different minority-dominated Bay Area middle and high schools and seven schools in the vicinity of UC NRS field stations. They have created classroom and field activities to teach about the process of science and concepts in ecology, evolution, and systematics at a variety of levels. They have also led field trips to field stations, museums, and local parklands.
Through their responsibilities and experiences preparing for and teaching middle and high school classes, fellows develop communication, organizational and management skills not usually gained through their research and GSI experiences. Fellows report that the program has given them new perspectives on their own science and increased their confidence.
QUALITIES FOR GK-12 FELLOWS: The major goal of the GK-12 project is to help future research scientists gain skills and experience in communicating science outside of academia, and to give them an appreciation for what is happening in science education in K-12 schools. We prefer applicants who have passed their orals and established their dissertation work. Additional desirable qualities include maturity, initiative, leadership, creativity and an interest in working with non-university audiences. Previous work with K-12 students is not required.
The fellowship appointment is for July 1, 2011June 30, 2012. Although the work is challenging, fellows do not work more than they would if they were a GSI: a maximum of 15 hours a week, on average, and less in many weeks. The fellowship includes a monthly stipend of $2,500 for 12 months (totaling $30,000 for the year) and covers student fees for the year of participation.
If you have any questions, please contact the project coordinator, Betsy Mitchell (firstname.lastname@example.org, 643-7426) or the project PI, Rosemary Gillespie (email@example.com). You can also view our website.