PFIT is an initiative to equip teachers to become certified to teach an introductory or conceptual physics to high school freshmen in the state of Tennessee. Our rationale is that students who gain a basic understanding of physics are better equipped to carry on their education and become better citizens. Workshop participants were given a short intense course on introductory physics and teaching physics. From this workshop, the teachers were prepared to gain an endorsement in 7-12 Physics and add physics qualified teachers to Tennessee’s teacher base.
These two-week workshops, held in 2010, 2011 and 2012 introduced teachers to both STEM subject matter and the mindset of the STEM approach. Participants gain hands-on experience and have the opportunity to refresh and deepen their knowledge of STEM subjects. Stipends were provided and the possibility of both continuing education credit and graduate credit were available.
Funded through the state’s Race to the Top initiative, MOMENTUM was a series of daylong workshops on incorporating children’s literature into elementary school math and science lessons. For example, taking the phrase “crane your neck” from a children’s book and asking students, based on their height, how long their necks would be if they had one similar to a 4-foot tall crane.
The program, which has 30 slots for K-6 teachers, met on Saturdays at APSU from September 2011, and ended with a weeklong academy during the summer of 2012.
The APSU Jack Hunt STEM Center in partnership with the Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation HUB provided two, one week, full day teacher workshops for teams of seventh grade science and mathematics teachers in June at the Jack Hunt STEM Center. The focus was Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, targeting the science and math content and engaging hands-on practices. Science and math teacher pairs developed and shared integrated science and mathematics units ready for the classroom. Teachers met in early June 2013.
APSU in partnership with Stewart and Houston Public School system offered a workshop to teachers of grades 5-8.
The goal of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) instruction is to help teachers improve student achievement through rigorous, authentic projects that address academic standards as well as the development of 21st century skills. The most effective PBL instruction is based in the real world, addressing problems that the local community actually experiences. This workshop for teachers of grades 5-8 demonstrated PBL instruction and strengthened the classroom community bonds by visiting local sites and resources. Teachers were given time to write effective problem-based units that reflected local issues or problems.
This workshop met for five full days during a week in early summer 2013.
APSU in partnership with Dickson and Humpreys County School Systems offered a Summer 2013 workshop for teachers of middle and high school science regarding inquiry based lessons. This workshop allowed participants to engage in inquiry as a learner to experience the benefits and challenges of this approach to science learning. Participants explored age-appropriate strategies for using scientific inquiry in middle and high school classes. Incorporating CCSS for ELA and Math with inquiry-based lessons is also a focus of this workshop. The goal of the workshop was for teachers to leave with the confidence to bring these fun and effective scientific practices into the classroom while supporting the district's implementation of CCSS for ELA and Math.
This three day workshop took place in late June 2013 and was held in Dickson, TN.
The Austin Peay State University STEM Center in partnership with Robertson and Cheatham County School Systems provided a one week workshop for High School Math and Science teachers presented by Mrs. Melinda Higgins from Harpeth Hall School for Girls. Melinda used her research to write engineering project-based curriculum based on the Legacy Cycle for learning. She has published the curricula she developed at www.teachingengineering.org.
In this workshop teachers had the opportunity to learn how to write a project-based lesson that will enable students to succeed in the chosen topic. Engagement, teamwork, understanding, and application of knowledge can be achieved using the Legacy Cycle. The 5 day workshop took place in early June 2013 in Springfield, TN.