10/23/2012 8:30:00 AMAlcoa Foundation sends teachers to science camp
Two teachers from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District spent a week this past summer in Silverthorne, Colo., learning how to integrate scientific research into the study of the environment in their classroom instruction.
Lucy Komichak, a science teacher at Whitney M. Young Leadership Academy, and John Fellenstein, an earth, space science teacher at Cleveland Early College @ John Hay, were two of 30 teachers from nine U.S. states and Quebec, Canada, who attended the Key Issues Institute, sponsored by the Alcoa Foundation.
Komichak, Fellenstein and fellow educators learned skills that helped them investigate environmental issues with their students. Through classrooms, labs and field work, the teachers explored the environment around Silverthorne.
“The conference used a hands-on approach which was both interesting and enlightening,” Komichak said. “The opportunity has been priceless.”
The interdisciplinary framework of the coursework had been designed to promote a collaborative approach to scientific investigation and problem solving. Such an approach meets national education standards.
“Teachers take the framework back to the classroom and involve their students to take on local environmental issues with an unbiased, inquiry-based approach,” said Emily Weber, educator programs director at the Institute.
Participants left with curriculum materials, lab equipment and online support from staff and other educators.
Since 1997, the Alcoa Foundation has sent 160 teachers to the Institute. Educators have come away inspired and eager to introduce an action-based, real-world learning model in their classrooms.