*Registration for this course is now CLOSED*

Monday, December 9, 2013

For Immediate Release

MITS and Fitchburg State University Launch New Graduate Course for STEM Educators

Science for the Next Generation: Science and Engineering Practices Across the Disciplines

The Museum Institute for Teaching Science (MITS, Inc.) announced today that middle and high school STEM educators are invited to participate in a 10-week hybrid/blended course designed to enrich participants’ background in science and engineering content and facilitate their implementation of the Science and Engineering Practices in the recently released Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  During 15 hours of online instruction and 25 hours of visits to local science institutions and nature centers, participants will actively engage in inquiry-based instruction and highly relevant science and engineering content. Fitchburg State University will host the first of four site visits on March 1st to kick off the program. Three other on-site meetings will be interspersed throughout the course: Harvard Forest (March 22), Alden Research Laboratory (April 7), and Mass Audubon’s Wachusett Meadow (May 3). The on-site sessions will include field work and tours of laboratory, research and manufacturing facilities. The course is supported by a grant from the Central Massachusetts Readiness Center, so participants may earn three graduate credits, at no cost, through Fitchburg State University.

Sandra Ryack-Bell, Executive Director of MITS, has expressed her enthusiasm about this new venture, “We are very excited to be working with Fitchburg State University to provide this course.  We are thrilled to have received the financial support from the Central Massachusetts Readiness Center that will allow us to provide this course at no charge to middle and high school educators.  The course offers teachers the opportunity to refine their inquiry skills using the science and engineering practices in the new Massachusetts Science and Technology Frameworks while engaging in some exciting science investigations!”

The course will provide what teachers want most from professional learning experiences:

  • Content Relevance – Learning experiences will address STEM content and pedagogy directly connected to the MA Science and Technology Engineering Framework, NGSS Science and Engineering Practices, and Common Core Disciplines
  • Classroom Applications – Participating teachers will develop and share investigations that apply course content and pedagogy to their classroom instruction.
  • Peer Collaboration – A professional learning community will develop among the participants and the informal educators who serve as course instructors.
  • Ongoing Support – Participating institutions will serve as resources to support teachers’ science and engineering instruction.

During the course teachers will investigate the effects of climate change on living systems, analyze the relationship between the design of hydrokinetic turbines and fish populations and examine how animal adaptations can inspire engineering design. Teachers will have the opportunity to earn 3 graduate credits for the course as well as Professional Development Points.

The Museum Institute for Teaching Science has a longstanding reputation for quality STEM professional development among K-12 educators and informal educators in Massachusetts’ science and cultural institutions.  This new collaboration with Fitchburg State University is an example of MITS’ commitment to the quality and growth of its programs.

The Museum Institute for Teaching Science specializes in providing hands-on, minds-on, inquiry-based STEM professional development for formal and informal educators.  For more information, visit www.mits.org or call 617-328-1515