Friday, July 27, 2018
For Immediate Release
MITS Summer Professional Development Institutes Create
Learning Opportunities for Teachers
In five regions across Massachusetts this July, educators came together to engage in hands-on, minds-on learning by participating in the Museum Institute for Teaching Science (MITS, Inc.) 2018 Summer Professional Development Institutes. By reading articles before and participating in hands-on experiences during each on-site week, teachers strengthened their understandings of science content based on the focus of each institute. They also explored inquiry-based approaches to learning and developed curriculum pieces for their classrooms that incorporated the Science and Engineering Practices and Standards adopted by the State of Massachusetts.
During the weeks of July 9 and 16, institutes were held in the Cape Cod, MetroWest, Berkshire, North Shore, and Central regions of Massachusetts for elementary, middle, and high-school teachers.
The MetroWest region had a “place-based learning” theme and explored the resources and sites of the Walden Woods Project, Concord Museum, and Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm. Instructors tied together human historical events with the geology and ecology of the region, and considered their environmental impact on the natural system. The socio-scientific experiences of the week inspired teachers to explore their own local or school “place” with students to help expand students’ critical thinking skills.
Teachers investigated clean energy technologies at the Berkshire institute, connecting with resources from Flying Cloud Institute, the Center for EcoTechnology, Berkshire Community College and the Berkshire Wind Power Cooperative. Participants designed their own small-scale wind turbines and explored the impact of adding alternative energy resources to their community’s energy grid. Visits to local sites using sustainable energy sources, including an active wind farm, enriched these investigations.