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Science Education in the 21st Century


Science Education in the 21st Century The key to innovation, which has been the heart of our country's success, is creativity and problem solving. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Science Education in the 21st Century

Science Education in the 21st Century
  • The key to innovation, which has been the heart
    of our country's success, is creativity and
    problem solving. And that is what is learnedwhen
    students study math and science.   
  • Margaret Spellings
  • U.S. Secretary of Education
  • February 1, 2006

Why Math and Science?
  • The rapid pace of change nationally and globally
    demands math- and science-related knowledge and
  • Citizens need math and science for everyday
  • Math and science are inextricably linked to the
    nations security interests
  • The deeper, intrinsic value of math and science
    knowledge shapes and defines our common life,
    history, and culture
  • National Commission on Math and Science Teaching
  • for the 21st Century, 2000

Scientists and engineers working in partnership
with local teachers represent an essential new
force that will be required for effective science
education reform. Bruce Alberts, Former
President, National Academy of Sciences
There is no group of people who should feel more
responsible for science and math education in
this nation than our scientists and
scientists-to-be. Former NSF Director Rita
A Nation at Risk 1983
The people of the United States need to know that
individuals in our society who do not possess the
levels of skill, literacy, and training essential
to this new era will be effectively
disenfranchisedfrom the chance to participate
fully in our national life.
  • Graduation requirements should be strengthened in
    English, mathematics, science, social studies,
    computer science.
  • Schools should adopt higher and measurable
    standards for academic performance.
  • The amount of time students spend engaged in
    learning should be significantly increased.
  • The teaching profession should be strengthened

Before Its Too Late 2000
The future well-being of our nation and people
depends not just on how well we educate our
children generally, but on how well we educate
them in mathematics and science specifically.
  • Goal 1 Establish an ongoing system to improve
    the quality of math and science teaching in
    grades K-12
  • Goal 2 Increase the of math and science
    teachers and improve the quality of their
  • Goal 3 Improve the working environment and make
    the teaching profession more attractive for K-12
    math and science teachers

Rising Above the Gathering Storm
Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter
Economic Future
  • A Increase Americas talent pool by vastly
    improving K-12 science and math education
  • B Sustain and strengthen the nations commitment
    to basic research
  • C Make the U.S. the most attractive setting in
    which to study and perform research

Is America Flunking Science?
  • Foreign investors have nearly caught up in
    patents, and U.S. science publishing has fallen
    behind Europes as Asias is surging
  • The U.S. has the most science majors in the
    world, but ranks only 25th when adjusted for
  • The number of U.S. Ph.D.s awarded in science is
    tapering off while Chinas is increasing
  • The U.S. leads in federal dollars for research,
    but six countries now devote a larger of their
    GDP to science

The U.S. still leads the world in scientific
innovation. But years of declining investment and
fresh competition from abroad threaten to end our
The National Crisis
  • According to the NCES, science performance by
    U.S. 4th and 8th grade students did not change in
    2003 12th graders performance decreased.
  • Forty-seven of our 12th graders are performing
    below the basic level with only 2 at the
    advanced level.
  • The number of teachers teaching without
    certification or a major in their field is
    estimated at 30-40.

How Are We Doing in Tennessee?
  • Only 59 of high school students are taught by
    teachers with a major in their subject
  • Only 20 of high school students take at least
    one upper level science course
  • 25 of 8th graders are at or above proficient
    compared to the national average of 42
  • Less than 10 of students score a 3 or better on
    AP exams compared to the national average of 22

Protecting Americas Competitive Edge
If we ensure that America's children succeed in
life, they will ensure that America succeeds in
the world.
  • we need to encourage children to take more math
    and science, and to make sure those courses are
    rigorous enough to compete with other nations
  • To accomplish this we will
  • Train 70,000 high school teachers to lead
    advanced-placement courses in math and science
  • Bring 30,000 math and science professionals to
    teach in classrooms
  • Give early help to students who struggle with

The Vanderbilt University Center for Science
Outreach (CSO)
  • Connecting scientists with the community to
    improve science literacy

(No Transcript)
CSO Programs
  • Scientist-in-the Classroom Programs
  • Virtual scientist-classroom partnerships
  • GK12 Program
  • Programs for Teachers
  • RET Summer/Academic Year Programs
  • Teacher in Residence
  • Content Workshops for Teachers
  • Programs for Students
  • Summer camps
  • Academic year (Saturday/after school) programs
  • Research Internship Program for H.S. students

Scientists-in-the Classroom
  • The DOE will support partnerships between school
    districts and public or private organizations
    that encourage and prepare science, math, and
    engineering professionals to teach specific high
    school math, science and technology courses as
    adjunct teachers. The goal is to have 30,000
    adjunct teachers by 2015.
  • In 1999, the National Science Foundation
    established the GK-12 Program that provides
    fellowships for graduate students to spend two
    days per week in a K-12 classroom. Through
    interactions with teachers in K-12 schools,
    graduate students can improve communication and
    teaching skills while enriching STEM instruction
    in K-12 schools.

Vanderbilt-Meharry-TSU- MNPS GK12 Program
  • Started in 1999 by the NSF to support
    fellowships that enable graduate students in STEM
    disciplines to acquire additional skills that
    will prepare them for professional and scientific
    careers in the 21st century. Expected outcomes
  • improved communication, teaching and team
    building skills for the Fellows
  • professional development opportunities for K-12
  • enriched learning for K-12 students
  • strengthened partnerships between institutions of
    higher education and local school districts.
  • The Vanderbilt-Meharry-TSU program is one of the
    top in the U.S., and has been a model for several
    other universities
  • A national advisory committee recommended that
    our program be institutionalized and expanded by
    University and K-12 district partners

GK12 Program Components
  • Graduate student fellows spend 2 days/week in a
    partner classroom
  • Teachers and fellows spend four weeks in the
    summer building their partnership
  • Fellows participate in a biweekly seminar

Distribution of Fellows
Biomedical Sciences 5 19 0
Natural Sciences 15 0 6
Engineering 8 0 2
Mathematics 1 0 2
Totals 30 19 10
GK12 Program Impacts
  • K-12 Students
  • Increased performance on pre/post test
  • Increased excitement about science
  • K-12 Teachers
  • Increased time spent on hands-on activities
  • Increased content knowledge
  • Fellows
  • Enhanced communication and teaching skills
  • Increased understanding of needs of K-12

Virtual Scientists
  • Videoconferencing is an interactive two-way
    audio/video connection between remote sites
  • VC over IP uses existing network capabilities
  • Our program was started in 1999 through funding
    by NIH
  • We placed 18 VC units in TN schools
  • We developed a variety of programs for
    integration of videoconferencing in K-12
  • We have trained over 100 teachers in middle TN
  • We have established an international presence
    with partners in over 20 states and two countries

Vanderbilt-K-12 Videoconferencing
Over 150 conferences to more than 300 sites
gt10,000 participating K-12 students in 20 states
and two countries
Over 90 Vanderbilt experts representing more than
20 departments/centers
Virtual Scientist Programs
  • CSO
  • Thinking Thursday - How the Body Works The Heart
  • Freaky Friday Blood and Guts The Heart
  • Genetics
  • Can a bad mutation ever be good?
  • Does genetic testing make the grade?
  • Neuroscience
  • Stressed or stressed out?
  • Whats on your mind?
  • Toxicology
  • How are new medicines developed?
  • Should you eat that?
  • Medical Student Elective Healthy Living
  • Acne and personal hygiene
  • Media and self image
  • Dyer Series VIADyer
  • Living in space
  • Robotic telescopes
  • Is Pluto a planet?
  • Physics Relativity
  • Engineering
  • Glowing cells and lasers
  • Robotics

Programs for Students Summer Science Camps
  • One week non-resident camp for middle school
    students 4 sessions per summer for girls 2
    sessions for boys
  • Over 600 students have participated since 1999
  • Sessions held at Vanderbilt, Dyer Observatory,
    and Radnor Lake
  • The camp is led by area teachers with
    undergraduate, medical, and graduate students and
    faculty participating
  • The girls camp was selected as the prize for
    the winner of the Discovery Health Channel annual
    science contest

Programs for Teachers
The most powerful instrument for change, and
therefore the place to begin, lies at the very
core of education with teaching itself.
  • To facilitate professional development of K-12
    science teachers through research experience at
    the cutting edge of science.
  • To help build long-term collaborative
    relationships between K-12 science teachers and
    the research community
  • To enhance science content knowledge of middle
    and high school teachers

Programs for Teachers
  • Summer Content Workshops Immunology, Genetics
  • Teacher in Residence programs
  • Research Experience for Teachers
  • Teachers work with research scientists in a
    laboratory for 6-8 weeks during the summer
  • Teachers meet weekly with educators to
    translate content knowledge into classroom
  • Gateway Biology Training
  • Math and Science Partnership Summer Science

Scientist-Teacher Partnership CD Development
Impact of CSO Programs
GAS CAMP 25 1 10 2 15 3 12 425
CDs 15 1 7 2 2 5 gt3000
PD 50 10 5 12 gt500 gt1000
VC 30 50 10 gt300 gt8000
GK-12 30 15 30 29 20 1 60 gt1000
TOTALS 140 17 107 33 gt950 26 gt1000 gt18000
Where do we go from here
  • Online and web-based science courses
  • National Summer Science Institute innovative
    programs for teachers and students
  • Science Academies within high schools
  • Science enrichment programs for middle and high
    school students
  • Programs to prepare scientists for classroom
  • Vanderbilt University Science Center teacher
    professional development, elective courses for
    gifted students, research opportunities for
    students and teachers

Vanderbilt BioBus
  • Laboratory on wheels that could travel to schools
    and serve as PD center for teachers
  • Teachers and scientists could work together to
    design and implement curriculum
  • Vanderbilt faculty could serve as visiting
  • On campus summer camps could serve as models for