Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 8:55 AM


SHORT, James B.1, RANDLE, David2, KRAVITZ, Dora1 and KINZLER, Rosamond J.3, (1)Gottesman Center for Science Teaching and Learning, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024, (2)Seminars on Science, American Museum of Natural History, National Center for Science Literacy, Educ & Technology, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024, (3)Education, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024,

The Gottesman Center for Science Teaching and Learning serves as the umbrella for the American Museum of Natural History’s educational initiatives directed towards K-12 schools and teacher education. With a range of professional development opportunities the Center reaches over 3,000 K–12 teachers annually, offering direct contact with scientists and content specialists; inquiry-based learning experiences; and standards-aligned resources. In addition, through the Urban Advantage program, a groundbreaking public-private middle school science education initiative launched with the NYC Department of Education a decade ago with seven other informal science education institutions, the Museum currently serves more than 50,000 students and 500 science teachers in 150 NYC public middle schools—and has demonstrated an impact on student achievement. Over the last several years the Museum has maintained an effort to produce and incorporate into these professional development programs innovative new geoscience and STEM resources supporting student science investigations, data visualizations and analysis tools, teaching case materials and other resources that provide rich nonfiction reading and writing opportunities integrated into Earth and space science curricula. This presentation will share how these resources and professional development programs are aligned to support the recently released Next Generation Science Standards as well as the implementation of Common Core Standards in most states. The NGSS describes a set of science practices to help cultivate K-12 students’ scientific habits of mind, develop their capability to engage in scientific investigations, and teach them how to reason in context. Evaluation findings from AMNH professional development programs indicate teachers deepen their science content knowledge and develop new ways of supporting inquiry-based learning and teaching. Researchers working with Museum educators find it is not enough to merely provide access to resources in professional development programs. Studies suggest that professional development programs need to engage teachers in using and reflecting on these resources, as well as take into account school environments and support for teachers with different levels of knowledge and teaching expertise.