National agencies have established long-term goals to ensure that standards-based science education is available to all students; that the science pipelines provide adequate numbers of highly-educated students for science careers; that those who select these careers have the best education possible; that their teachers have the understanding and best skills to ensure excellent education; and that programs are available to maintain public interest in and awareness of scientific and technological developments. The current Phase I application STEP is a partnership program between Vanderbilt University and public schools across Tennessee. Vanderbilt has taken a leadership role in introducing and supporting science education programs in 5-12th grade classrooms and is in an excellent position to partner with the public schools to ensure that the students and teachers have the best possible resources available to them for enhancing science and technology literacy. The proposed STEP program will focus on the integration of technology into 5-12th grade classrooms and the enhancement of content and research skills of 5-12th grade teachers. This application includes a series of significant new initiatives as well as the expansion of pilot programs which have been received with enthusiasm by area teachers and educators. The challenge is to expand these ideas so that a larger group of teachers and students can be served in a fashion which is even better than currently achieved in our existing pilot programs. Building on ongoing and past programs the investigators propose the following specific goals: to enhance teacher use of technology in the classroom; to offer novel computer tools such as science and health-related CDs and web-based educational approaches for use in 5-12th grade classrooms; to establish unique on-line classrooms to reach local and statewide classrooms; and to expand web- based information and resources for Tennessee science teachers. To achieve thesegoals the investigators will focus on two specific objectives: the development implementation and evaluation of technology-based tools and programs for use in 5-12th grade classrooms; and the development of science and technology workshops for 5-12th grade science and health teachers.
The goal of this project is to create a Science and Technology Education Partnership (STEP) between Vanderbilt University and Tennessee-s public schools. The partnership will employ statewide a variety of current technologies to communicate promote and enhance science education for teachers and students. The STEP project will focus on integrating technology into classrooms for grades 5-12 and enhancing the content and research skills of grades 5-12 science and health teachers.