Empowering K-5 teachers of low-income students of color to incorporate STEM in their classrooms
The University of Southern California's Joint Educational Project's STEM Education Programs (Young Scientists Program, Medical STEM Program, and Wonderkids) are a model of how to support teachers in low-income K-5 schools. The programming it offers at no cost to the partner schools includes curriculum that is inquiry-based, hands-on and Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) focused. The programs aim to address a critical lack of science education in JEP partner schools by recruiting STEAM undergraduate and graduate students to serve as Teaching Assistants (TA's) who, under the direction of the Director of STEM Education and individual Site Coordinators, bring scientific laboratory experiences directly to students and their teachers. We work with over 80 teachers weekly (2500 K-5 students predominately from underserved backgrounds racially and economically) with this program and provide all of the NGSS aligned- curriculum, supplies and a science instructor for them to have successful inquiry-based and hands-on STEM experiences inside and outside their classroom. We also provide countless STEM-based professional development (PD) opportunities for teachers through varying grants and in partnership with the Rossier School of Education are able to offer continuing educational units (CEU's) for those participating in the PD sessions. We have seen our teachers grow more confident in teaching science in their classrooms following our programming and PD's. We level the playing field in STEM for elementary teachers that work in schools that serve predominantly low-income students of color. Many of our teachers, especially at the K-3 level don't feel comfortable teaching science and they end up skipping it to focus solely on math and reading. We empower teachers to incorporate STEM into their classrooms by providing everything they need to feel comfortable teaching science to their students. We'd love to share our model with the world.
Video was edited and put together by Josh Senior. All students and adults in the video have provided media release forms to our organization.
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