Thursday, February 21, 2013

SOE Faculty Inspire Students to Do Science

Exciting scientific investigation and engineering design work has been flourishing in Garden City Public Schools during the 2012-13 school year!

Under the leadership of Gail Luera, SOE associate professor, ASPIRES (After School Program for Inquiry and Research with Elementary Students) has brought together a group of elementary/middle school students, university students, and university faculty to bring to life hands-on, applied science.

Across the 2012-2013 school year, 22 UM-Dearborn students have participated as undergraduate instructors, with mentorship from Drs. Luera and Mary Starr, SOE lecturer. They have engaged 40 elementary and middle school students with a range of enriching, inquiry-oriented science.

Each five-week ASPIRES session employs project-based inquiry science and focuses on a different science discipline while engaging students as they learn how scientists “do science” by designing, conducting and communicating the findings of investigations.

The fall sessions introduced this method of learning as the elementary and middle school students created a book support out of limited materials and documented their design process in a quest to understand how scientists answer big questions and solve big problems.

In the first winter session, which will just completed, students investigated factors that affect the formation of craters as they explored the very timely question of how to know when objects in space will collide. The next five-week session will focus on genetics as students use scientific principles and procedures to investigate how genetics can help feed the world.

ASPIRES is supported by funding from the Garden City Public Schools, the UM-Dearborn School of Education, and the UM-Dearborn Civic Engagement Project.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

ECEC Receives Grant from Michigan Department of Education

The Michigan Department of Education has awarded a Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) competitive grant of $81, 600 to the Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC). The grant will pay tuition costs for 24 children to attend the ECEC four sessions per week for 35 weeks.

The GSRP state program prepares four-year-old children who are judged to have factors that place them at risk for achieving school success. The ECEC has been a GSRP grant recipient since 2004 and this award has allowed us to support the families and children who are in needs. The ECEC hopes to triple its service to these “at risk” children in our preschool program through the GSRP in the 2013-14 school year.

Congratulations to the faculty and staff of the ECEC who continue to provide the region with a high-quality early learning program that supports children’s growth and gets them off to a great start!

Next Generation Science Standards Focus of UM-Dearborn Talk by National Leader

On January 29, 2013, Dr. Stephen Pruitt, Vice President for Content, Research and Development of Achieve spoke to about 60 members of the campus and surrounding education community about the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). He provided an update on the development process and timeline for release of drafts and final documents, revisions based on the first public release, how science educators can be involved, and implications for science teaching.

Funded by the Carnegie Corporation, the development of NGSS is a joint effort of the National Research Council and Achieve Inc., in partnership with the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Science Teachers Association, to design the foundation for all students to have a solid K–12 science education. NGSS will comprise K–12 science standards created through a collaborative process led by Michigan and 25 other lead partner states.

January 29, the day Pruitt spoke on campus, was the final day for public comment on the latest draft of the standards. The final version is expected in late March 2013.