Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 8:45 AM


BIER, Sara E., Environmental Studies, Emory and Henry College, 30461 Garnand Drive, Emory, VA 24327-0947 and ARNOLD, Douglas, Education Department, Emory & Henry College, 30432 Garnand Drive, Emory, VA 24327,

The Emory & Henry (E&H) College Contemporary Teaching of Science and Nature of Science Math-Science Partnership (MSP) Grant provides professional development for K-5 teachers served by the Southwest Virginia Public Education Consortium. The MSP grant was inspired by the successful E&H hosted Southwest Virginia Science Teachers Academy (SVSTA) in 2009-2010 during which 33 teachers from southwest Virginia took Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Science. The SVSTA received a Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition Programs that Work Award. Participating teachers in the MSP grant take Earth Science and Physical Science during two five-day summer institutes and earn three college credits for successful completion of each course. In June 2012, 17 teachers took Earth Science and 18 teachers took Physical Science taught by E&H Geology and Physics professors, respectively. The Earth Science course was divided into 5 day-long units: 1. The Universe, Solar System, and Plate Tectonics, 2. Earth Materials, 3. Natural Disasters & Geologic Time, 4. Water, and 5. Humans & Geology. Each unit was related to grade-specific Virginia Standards of Learning. Three field trips were essential to the success of the course. Teachers learned the geologic history of the area in which they teach while hiking along the Virginia Creeper Trail; they learned the dynamics of streams while wading in the South Fork of the Holston River; and they learned about the intimate relationships between humans and geology during a visit to Saltville, Virginia. A variety of hands-on activities were demonstrated and practiced during the week to be used in K-5 classrooms in the teachers’ respective schools. A video camera was given to each grant participant to document and record science teaching activities in their classrooms. Videos will be posted, shared, and reviewed on the E&H MSP website during the 2012-2013 school year. As a result of the E&H MSP Grant, the quality of K-5 science education continues to improve in southwest Virginia.