The Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence Central Gulf of Mexico has implemented a five-day Teacher Scientist Institute in several states each year during its first and second grant periods. These Institutes are designed to be similar in format and provide abundant opportunities for scientists and teachers to work together, learn each others’ cultures, and develop a relationship for future work together. However each Co-Principal Investigator is responsible for implementation in his or her own state, which leads to variability in the teacher scientist institute as implemented across the Gulf Coast. Some variability is related to differences among available facilities and coastal habitats. However, institute schedules and participant expectations introduced in each state also contributed to differences in the Teacher Scientist Institutes implemented across the coast during early years of COSEE Central Gulf of Mexico.
This presentation relates to variations among Institutes resulting from differences in expectations of teachers versus scientists. While the institute in one state assumed all teachers and scientists were present and participating in all activities from the initiation through the completion of the workshop, others maintained more relaxed expectations of scientists – in some cases scientists came in for a day to conduct a field activity, in some cases scientists were present most of the week, but came and went according to other items on their agendas. Data presented elsewhere show differences in teachers’ experiences in these different scenarios. Limited evaluation data also indicated improvements in scientists’ experiences when they spent more time following the same schedule as teachers. This presentation will describe differences in the Teacher Scientist Institutes held in various states, provide representative comments from the evaluations and describe changes that have been made in the Teacher Scientist Institute schedules to enhance scientists’ education and outreach experiences.
Presented by: Jessie Kastler, Sharon Walker, and Susan Ross
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2010 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Portland, OR