Welcome to STEM CONNECTIONS, the UMass version of NSF’S GK12 program, which links classrooms with the university and research communities. CONNECTIONS offers a unique opportunity for teachers to bring scientific research into their classrooms with the assistance of the GK12 Fellows, who are graduate students in the sciences. We’re still inventing many of the features of this collaborative effort, and we invite everyone to help make it a rich experience for all the participants.
1. Signing In: Please be sure to sign in every day. If you know you will have to be late or to leave early, please inform the staff.
2. Technology forms: Teachers should complete one copy of the technology forms and turn them in as soon as possible. A second copy should be given to your technology coordinator and mailed to Sharon.
3. Email: Please check your email address on our list. Give Sharon any corrections needed. And please make a practice of checking your email regularly, preferably at least once a day. We will minimize the use of paper mail to save trees and postal costs; if you don’t read your mail, you won’t know what is happening.
4. Graduate credit: Teachers and Fellows will have the opportunity in September to register for six graduate credits for their yearlong participation in the program. We will not hand out registration materials this week.
5. Food: Every morning we will have coffee, bagels, muffins, and juice. Catered lunches will be provided, with box lunches Thursday and Friday to facilitate field trips. If you have any special dietary needs, let Sharon know.
6. Research team selection: As shown in the agenda, the six STEM CONNECTIONS research areas will be introduced in half-day workshops Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. After the last workshop on Wednesday, teachers will be given a selection form and asked to order the research areas in order of suitability, indicating the curricular or logistical factors that should be considered. Every effort will be made to give everyone one of his or her highest choices. Team assignments will be announced Thursday morning.
7. Project evaluation and feedback: We will be collecting formative evaluation data in order to improve the program. Please fill out the daily forms and supply any other information that is needed. Also, please feel free to share your ideas and concerns with any of the project staff.
8. Contributing to the News of the Day: Do you have information about a teaching resource or event that will be of interest to CONNECTIONS people? Check with Sharon or Mort on getting it into the next day’s news.