2007-2008 Teacher Professional Development

This year our GK12 Fellows have had the added experience of sharing their skills and expertise with K-12 teachers. These opportunities not only provide professional development for the teachers, but also provide ample time for discussions on classroom strategies that benefit our Fellows.

June 26 — The POSIT Workshop
Pete Oboyski
GK12 Fellow Pete Oboyski goes over insect morphology and identification with teachers. Photo © 2007 Project POSIT.
Matt Wedel
Though not a GK12 presenter, former GK-12 Fellow Matt Wedel participated in the Summer Institute, discussing the evidence for evolution in the fossil record. Photo © 2007 Project POSIT.
Four Graduate Student Fellows from previous program years (Ryan Hill, Nicole VanderSal, Pete Oboyski, and Anna Larsen) introduced California Biodiversity to 77 Oakland teachers, participating in their California Math Science Partnership Summer Institute — POSIT (Partnership for Oakland Science Inquiry and Teaching). Teachers were engaged in an in-depth look at insects: morphology, spot identification, hands-on collecting techniques, followed by lunch and tours at the Botanical Gardens, and information on plant morphology and plant pressing.

August 16 — The WISE Workshop
Graduate student fellows offered a half-day instruction in biodiversity and field techniques for ~35 fourth and fifth grade teachers who are part of the WISE (Working to Improve Science Education) project of the San Francisco Unified School District. Half of the teachers worked on a stream study and the other half worked on a leaf angle investigation. Following the activities, each group of teachers debriefed the activities with the Fellows, concentrating on what they as "students" learned, and what they as "teachers" could offer as suggestions to the Fellows. This provided an enriching experience for the San Francisco teachers and also an excellent opportunity for the newly assigned Fellows to literally get their feet wet!

August 20-21 — Enhancing academic achievement through exploring California biodiversity
Instructors: Rosie Gillespie, Wayne Sousa, George Roderick, Ryan Hill, Katie Zanto, 2007-2008 graduate student fellows
Eighteen teachers attended a two-day workshop for teachers at the Sagehen Creek Field Station in the Sierra Nevada near Truckee. The goal of the workshop was to connect local teachers with the field station, to offer hands-on experiences with techniques for doing biodiversity research and field labs for classroom use, and to discuss and develop ways to use science activities as a springboard for math and language arts learning. Led by a team of seasoned field biologists from UC Berkeley, the teachers studied water-strider populations in Sagehen Creek, examined stream macro-invertebrate diversity as a bio-indicator of stream health, did a mark-recapture study of meadow grasshopper populations, and mapped changes in tree communities along an environmental gradient. Everyone went home energized to try out these field labs with their students, and thinking about when they would be able to get back to the Sagehen Creek Field Station!