Bringing Smithsonian science education to elementary grades
LENOIR, NC (October 18, 2019) — The Caldwell County Schools will participate in the Smithsonian Science Education Center’s Early-phase Education Innovation and Research proposal titled Smithsonian Science for the Classroom: Improving Student Achievement Across State Borders and State Standards.
“For over 30 years, the Smithsonian Science Education Center has demonstrated an ability to use knowledge of research and best practices to work with school districts and states in implementing a systemic science education program that positively impacts student achievement,” said Dr. Donald Phipps, Superintendent. “For this reason and for many others, the Caldwell County Schools is eager to participate in this Early-phase effort funded by the U.S. Department of Education.”
The Smithsonian Science Education Center has demonstrated student gains through the implementation of its Science & Technology units, and the Smithsonian Science Education Center is now building the new Smithsonian Science for the Classroom line of Next Generation Science Standards-aligned science and engineering modules.
Participation in the Early-phase project will include the following for the Caldwell County Schools:
• Full participation of selected schools that enroll students in grades 3-5.
• Implementation of the fidelity of Smithsonian Science for the Classroom modules at grades 3-5.
• Teacher participation in two levels of professional development for each module taught.
• Stipends for teachers that will be funded by the school district.
• Evaluation of the program will occur through the five-year duration of the grant, which will also require access to student scores on state assessments.
“I look forward to realizing the positive impact that the Smithsonian Science Education Center’s curricular and professional development programs will have on the science and engineering education of our students in elementary grades,” said Phipps.
More on Smithsonian Science for the Classroom: Improving Student Achievement Across State Borders and State Standards:
A new 5-year $4.5M grant ($3.9M from US Department of Education plus a $500K match) titled “Smithsonian Science for the Classroom: Improving Student Achievement Across State Borders and State Standards” will bring “Smithsonian Science for the Classroom” to more than 11,250 students in grades 3-5 in North Carolina and South Carolina in partnership with two community collaborators—the North Carolina Science, Math and Technology Center (CEO, Sam Houston) and the South Carolina Coalition for Mathematics & Science (CEO, Tom Peters)—and one external evaluator from the University of Memphis. Schools will receive differentiated science and engineering professional development aligned with SSEC’s curriculum, 3-dimensional pedagogy, and content PD. Together these services can improve student outcomes in rural communities consisting largely of high needs populations. Expected outcomes include student learning in the disciplines of science, engineering, reading, and math, as well as increased teacher confidence and preparedness.