Graduate Fellows are selected from ISU's College of Engineering, Technology and Arts and Sciences (Biological Sciences, Geosciences, Chemistry and Math). Students must be a full-time ISU graduate student during the 2009-2010 school year.
Teachers are selected from public and private schools in Idaho Districts #25, 381, 512, 21, and 55. Teachers must teach 10 hours/week of science/math/technology at the middle/high school level.
Teacher-scientist partners spend a year in the classroom developing and delivering specific problem- or inquiry-based lessons.
All projects were suggested by local teachers, based on perceived needs and interests of teachers. The projects are broadly defined right now, it will be up to the teacher and their Fellow partner to design and implement specific inquiry-based projects that will help students meet state achievement standards. In your application
1. Robotics: This project meets the needs of the grade 5-12 "hands-on" learners by forming partnerships among local school districts, Fellows, and organizations that employ engineers and technologists. It utilizes the FIRST program's two competitions: the high school-level Robotics program, and the elementary/middle school Lego League program. Fellows mentor the teams, as well as bringing physics, computer science, and engineering expertise to the classroom. Fellows who partnered with teachers and students on FIRST robotic teams were extremely successful. The first year, one team ranked at the top in the regional, including "best rookie team", and in the second year one team was Idaho's first ever to make it to the national competition. A FIRST partner teacher stated that "In 30 years of teaching, this is the best professional development activity I've ever done. The effects on my students have been incredible." FIRST also provides a direct connection to local industry leaders, e.g., INL and AMIS, which provided engineers to help mentor the teams. For more information about the FIRST and Lego League programs, visit www.usfirst.org.
2. Environmental Hazards and Resources Studies: Middle and This project builds on local outdoor awareness and ISU's strengths in ecological, geological, and environmental research. GK-12 teachers work with Fellows on multi-disciplinary research projects concerning hazards and resources in the natural environment. Examples of successful projects include a controlled burn on the school grounds to measure the temperature and intensity of different fuel types, following water infiltration rates and re-growth patterns of plants in the months and years after a wildfire, and mapping, restoring, and measuring the ecological function of wetlands. Teachers and students also conducted independent projects that utilized the zoo's captive animals and nearby natural areas to record animal behavior patterns. Potential projects might include combining engineering studies of soils under construction with the geological or biological implications of disturbance, and mathematical modeling of population dynamics.
3. Portneuf and Snake River Studies: Teachers work with Fellows from Mathematics, GeoSciences, Chemistry, or Biological Sciences to study the Portneuf River system. Fellows might assist teachers and students to learn sampling and analytical techniques to characterize water quality, to conduct biotic surveys, use GIS technology to identify land use areas/practices, and to develop science-based recommendations for management of the rivers' watersheds. Throughout the year, students can compare their data with that collected by continuously-recording probes, use GIS to map the watershed around their schools, and make presentations to the community.
4. Mathematics: Teachers work with Fellows from Mathematics on projects that contribute to improving and enriching students' K-12 Mathematics education. An additional goal is the enrichment of the Fellow's graduate education. Some possible project topics include: working with teachers participating in ISU's Workshop on Integrated Learning for Dual Enrollment Statistics Teachers (WILDEST http://www.isu.edu/departments/math/WILDEST.shtml) to improve high school statistics education,applying mathematical models to problems in engineering, physical, biological, and social sciences,guiding students preparing for local and regional mathematical contests such as MathCounts (http://www.mathcounts.org/), the American Mathematics Competition (AMC http://www.unl.edu/amc/), and/or the High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling (HiMCM http://www.comap.com/highschool/contests/), supplementing the regular mathematics curriculum with applications of topics to other areas within mathematics,developing lessons that expose students to interesting open problems in mathematics and present mathematics as an ongoing and evolving discipline.
Other: You decide! We will work to match you with a fellow/teacher partner with similar interests and skills in the suggested study area.