Bob Chen ~ Urban Oceanographer

WISP classroom

Demonstrating Commonalities and
Natural Connections

The Neponset mural
Dr. Bob Chen is Principal Investigator of the Watershed Integrated Sciences Partnership (WISP), a partnership between the University of Massachusetts Boston, Milton and Dedham (Massachusetts) Public Schools and Boston Public Schools. Now in its seventh year, the goal of the program is to support and enrich existing science curricula and help implement more advanced science instructional systems.

Trained graduate students - Fellows - team up with science teachers to develop place-based curricula. WISP supplies graduate students who have received training in order to understand what it's like to be in a classroom, what to look for in student learning, and how to be helpful to a teacher. The graduate students provide the teacher with expertise in experimentation and inquiry, thereby providing lasting impact.

WISP Fellow Jeremy Williams spends 10 hours per week in science teacher Haven Ripley's classroom at the Perkins Elementary School in South Boston (see photos at right). For this visit he brought in water samples from Carson Beach, which is across the street from the school. The students, who are likely to be familiar with the large Boston Harbor clean up effort, performed tests on the samples, moving through four stations and measuring water temperature, color, dissolved oxygen and turbidity.