Teachers to spend summer in Lab's science programs

June 16, 2011

Superintendent Kelly Bowers of the Livermore Valley Unified School District spoke to science teachers who are starting their summer internships at the Lab this week. Photo by Bob Hirschfeld//LLNL (Download Image)

Teachers to spend summer in Lab's science programs

Linda A Lucchetti, lucchetti1@llnl.gov, 925-422-5815

Several local teachers will be spending their summer as students in one of two programs -- Teacher Research Academy or Science Teacher and Researchers (STAR) -- presented by the Lab's Science Education Program (SEP).

The teacher programs, which have been offered for some 20 years at the Lab, enable science teachers to develop and maintain mastery in their scientific fields.

Eighteen middle- and high-school teachers, as well as those seeking to obtain teaching credentials, met this week at the Edward Teller Education Center (ETEC) for the program's orientation that featured keynote speaker Superintendent Kelly Bowers of the Livermore Valley Unified School District.

"It is wonderful to come out here to meet future teachers," Bowers said. "You are the folks who will have the most impact on our students."

Bowers discussed, from a school superintendent's point of view, the value of the Lab's science teacher programs, saying that those who have completed them are well equipped and come to the classroom with the "full package" -- a step ahead of everyone, bringing rigor in subject matter as well as a sense of the real world to their students.

In speaking about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, Bowers said she would like to insert the letter "A" for the "art" of teaching, and modify the acronym to STEAM.

In discussing teaching in general, Bowers added, "The rewards are great." All it takes is one child to come to you and tell you that you changed their life.

Teachers will be at the Lab from eight to nine weeks taking part in hands-on workshops, lectures and mentored research alongside Lab scientists.

Additional presenters at the orientation included: Lee Younker, LLNL deputy principal associate director for Assessments and Conduct of R&D (overview of the Laboratory); Richard Farnsworth, SEP manager; Viji Sundar, CSU STAR Liaison, CSU Stanislaus; and Kirk Brown, Tracy High School, master teacher; (overview of the teacher programs and expectations); and T. R. Girill, retired LLNL technical writer (poster requirements).

For more information about LLNL's Teacher Research Academy, go to the Website. For more information about STAR, go to the STAR Web page.