Middle School Life Science Education Partnership — Phase I

  • Abstract

    Scientists associated with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Marine and Freshwater Biomedical Sciences Center and professionals within the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) School of Education will establish a collaborative relationship with several Milwaukee metropolitan schools. The long-range objective is to develop a significant program to enhance the quality of the curriculum and instruction for students enrolled in middle school life science.

    There are two primary thrusts. The first involves the creation of a number of experiment modules that relate to the biomedical content of the course and which are designed to stimulate inquiry-based learning. At their center is the utilization of non-mammalian organisms in the classroom. Enrichment is provided with interactive videotape/CD-ROM materials that engage students with subject matter that cannot be brought into their classrooms.

    The second emphasis provides in-service teachers with a network of support that increases their knowledge understanding and ability to conduct laboratory experiments. It also offers pre-service teachers in training an opportunity to develop a strong foundation in life science.

    The specific aims are to:

    • Provide teachers with a suite of fully developed modules that emphasize hands-on modern biomedical science
    • Surround the modules with support materials that utilize information technology
    • Provide a scientific community for teachers through workshops and meetings
    • Enhance the ability of teachers to facilitate critical thinking among students
    • Support teachers in distance learning including interactions with scientists teachers and inter-classroom communication
    • Encourage female and minority interest and success in science
    • Initiate a model program to enhance life science education for pre-service teachers
    • Provide thorough evaluation of the effectiveness of these aims
  • Additional Information

    This project will promote inquiry-based learning of life science concepts in metropolitan Milwaukee’s middle schools by developing 11 instructional modules that utilize the study of non-mammalian organisms in the classroom. The project will also offer to pre-service teachers an opportunity to develop a strong foundation in life science.

Project Audience

Middle school life science teachers and their students

Subjects Addressed

Life science, environment, health, environmental toxicology, chemistry, genetics, molecular biology, developmental biology, aquatic life, propagation and breeding, animal care, laboratory methods, science pedagogy, curriculum

Associated SEPA Project(s)