Enhancing Inquiry-Based Science and Math in Appalachian Middle Schools (ISMAM)
Eastern Kentucky University
The project impacts over 4000 middle school students in six rural schools each year. Teams of fellows and EKU faculty work with middle school teachers on physical and biological sciences, computer science and mathematics. All participants receive appropriate training. A majority of the Fellows have indicated that they plan to pursue higher degrees and a number of them may end up in the professoriate. Thus, one key area of this project has been to provide the Fellows with opportunities to develop important skills—teaching, organization, successful communication, leadership, team building, time management—that will be useful in a wide range of careers. Fellows have (i) developed and implemented lesson plans and units incorporating inquiry-based instruction, technology, and/or the 5E learning cycle model, (ii) conducted training activities for other project participants, (iii) organized and led field trips so that middle school students can observe real-world applications of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, (iv) prepared abstracts and made presentations at conferences, and (v) written manuscripts for publication.