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K-12 Math & Science Partnership: Osceola, Okeechobee, Volusia & the University of South Florida

Project Summary

The purpose of this project is to increase the academic achievement of students in science, using the following approaches:

  • Facilitate lesson study for science teachers in professional learning communities, building on existing Inquiry Activity Portal (iAP) lessons developed by Lou and Blanchard (2010) as a way to incorporate technology into science instruction.
  • Provide professional development to science teachers on using technology to assess students on their inquiry skills and to remediate struggling students, through a partnership with faculty in the Instructional Technology program at the University of South Florida.
  • Assist teachers in increasing student engagement and incorporating cooperative learning strategies through a partnership with Kagan Publishing and Professional Development.
  • Partner science teachers with scientists from three institutes of higher learning to improve the science teachers’ content knowledge.
  • Use existing tools such as the Florida Department of Education’s Item Bank and Test Platform (IBTP) to develop an Inquiry Skill Analyzer (iSA) to assist teachers in analyzing their own as well as their students’ science inquiry skills in order to identify areas of need and/or strength and to monitor progress.
  • Develop and share via CPALMS a bank of rigorous STEM model lessons and professional development modules that are aligned to Florida’s standards for science and mathematics, as well as the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards.

It is expected that technology-enhanced inquiry-based science learning and remediation process through formative assessment and cooperative learning will better engage middle and high school students, leading to higher student success on the science FCAT 2.0 and the Florida Biology EOC. The overall deliverables of the project will be to develop lesson plans and assessments that help teachers understand what their students are struggling with, in both science content as well as science process/inquiry.