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Diving Into The Standards

Instructors:  Dr. Sophia Sariagindes (English) and Dr. Jennifer Hanselman (Biology).  Massachusetts Mathematics and Science Partnership Grant (Title IIB)
FY 2018

Partners:  Westfield State University and Westfield (MA) Public Schools, St. Mary's School (Westfield), Monson School District

Evaluator:  UMass Donahue Institute


Westfield State University has a history of providing and supporting high-quality and meaningful professional development experiences for teachers.

Partnership goals:
  1. Develop and implement an effective and sustained course of study for in-service educators of STEM by integrating the courses of study into schools of arts and sciences and/or education at institutions of higher education.
  2. Develop and implement a systemic approach to STEM education by integrating professional development with district and school STEM improvement initiatives.
  3. Increase the number of STEM educators in the partner school districts who participate in effective professional development and advance their content knowledge and effective instructional practices.
  4. Identify credible, instructionally useful measures of student learning that measure student impact relative to subject matter standards in the professional development course(s).
2017-2018 Workshop Series
  • October 25, 2017 (3:30-5:00pm):  "Using literature to engage students in science"
    • Instructors:  Dr. Sophia Sariagindes (English) and Dr. Jennifer Hanselman (Biology).  
    • Location:  Westfield State University, Nettie Stevens Science & Innnovation Center, Room 304.  
    • We encourage Grades 3-8 ELA and Science teachers to attend.  We will use "Tristan Hunt and the Sea Guardians:  The Shark Whisperer" by Dr. Ellen Prager as an example of how to develop an interdisciplinary lesson, focusing on both ELA and STE (2016) standards.
    •   Registration is required, please click here.
  • November 7, 2017 (3:30-5:00pm):  Poster session:  "The impacts of course participation in the Grade 3-8 classroom".  Posters presented by 2017 participants.  No registration required, all interested teachers and district administrators are welcome to attend.
Summer 2018

Course Title:  "The Interactions of Earth's Spheres"

We invite teachers of Grades 3-8 to join us as we will examine the new standards and build upon our STEM content knowledge through the creation of innovative, pedagogical techniques that engage students.  Using the hydrosphere as a theme, teachers will explore unique ways to develop lessons that are interdisciplinary, therefore finding ways to incorporate STEM concepts and skills in an already tightly-packed school day.   The summer session includes a Skype session with marine biologist and author, Dr. Ellen Prager.  

  • The "course" will be facilitiated in a hybrid format - online introductions in mid-June, on-site workshop, and online follow-up during the summer.  A final meeting will be held in August 2018 for final course post-assessments and surveys (date TBD).
  • The 2018 on-site workshop dates (held at Westfield State):  June 25-26, 29 (Grades 3-5); June 27-29 (Grades 6-8).
  • Summer online follow-up (13 hours), work is flexible and is self-paced; course finishes no later than August 15, 2018.
    Access to PLATO/Online Learning
  • Teachers will receive 45 PDPs and a $500 stipend.
  • Teachers will also have the opportunity to take this course for graduate credit at a reduced rate.  Please contact Dr. Jennifer Hanselman for more information.
  • We will accept applications on a rolling basis but we will begin the review in early May so we encourage early submission. 

FY 2017

  • 2017 Participant list
  • View 2017 photo gallery of the summer workshop

FY 2016

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