FHSU's Science, Math Education Center to put 'energy' into science, social studies: 3-year grant project subsidizes teachers in project on energy sources plus social, scientific, political considerations

With about $440,000 of Kansas Board of Regents grant money in hand, Fort Hays State University's Science and Math Education Center will embark this summer on a three-year team project on teaching energy.

The project involves three workshops, the first, Wind Energy, from July 7 to July 25, 2008, on the FHSU campus. The first two weeks, until July 17, are on campus attending the workshop from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Participating teachers will return home for the third week, which is scheduled for independent consultations on the team project. The intention is also to provide followup activities throughout the academic year.

"The plan is to have a team come in and attend all three years, but it doesn't always happen that way," said Dr. Paul Adams, director of the Science and Math Education Center and the Anschutz Professor of Education at FHSU. He is also a professor of physics.

"We'll fill the 24 each year," he said, but the goal is to assemble a team that will take part in all three years. Year 2, summer of 2009, is Biofuels, and Year 3, 2010, is Energy Alternatives.

Selection will be competitive. Preference will be given to school teams and to applications received by May 22, 2008. The KBOR grant will cover tuition (three credit hours), materials for implementing the teachers' teaching plans, a training stipend for participation and a stipend to attend a state meeting of an association of science or social science teachers.

Summer I constitutes a three-hour graduate credit course, PHYS 603E. Each of the next two summers will also constitute a three-hour graduate credit course.

"It's really a good deal," said Adams. "That's also why we had to go three weeks, two weeks on campus and the week of consultations."

While the material is suitable for fifth grade through high school, preference will be given to middle school teachers.
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The focus of all three years is the energy source integrated with social studies and science, said Adams.

"Over the three years, the teachers involved in this will see physics, biology, chemistry, earth and space science and at the same time, we'll be looking at several things related to the social sciences and the politics," said Adams.

The overall workshop is called "Energizing Middle School Science and Social Studies Through a Problem Based Learning Energy Curriculum."

For more information or to apply, contact Adams at (785) 628-4538, by e-mail to padams@fhsu.edu, or by mail to the FHSU Science and Mathematics Center, 600 Park St., Hays, KS 67601.

More information is also available on the Web site, www.fhsu.edu/scimathcenter.

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