Faculty Receive Second $1.7 Million Grant to Collaborate with County High School Science Teachers

MELBOURNE, FLA. — The National Science Foundation (NSF) has given a continuation grant to Florida Tech of nearly $1.7 million over three years for the
Integrated Science Teaching Enhancement Partnership (InSTEP) project. The grant, part of the NSF’s Graduate Teaching Fellowship (K-12) program, enables the
university to continue the work with Brevard County high school integrated science teachers, which was begun in fall 2005 under the first grant of a
similar amount.
The new funding will focus on using the mobile laboratory, SEAS: Science Exploration at Sea, and supporting teachers in making use of the project
activities and modules developed under the previous grant. Integrated science teachers throughout the state receive the new modules via workshops sponsored
by program personnel and the program’s Web site. Additionally, the funding will continue to support free science seminars, led by university faculty and
other internationally renowned researchers at public schools throughout the county.
“We look forward to continuing this vital partnership with K-12 schools and hope that the program will serve as a model for K-12 outreach programs
throughout the county,” said Dr. Richard Tankersley, the professor of biological sciences who applied for the grant and is the program director. Dr. John
Windsor, professor of oceanography, is co-investigator on the grant.
The InSTEP project was originated to improve science instruction and increase student enthusiasm for scientific inquiry and discovery. Florida Tech
graduate students, or Fellows, from biology, chemistry, physics, and marine and environmental systems programs, partner with integrated science teachers in
grades 9-11. Using the “ocean exploration” theme, they help to design and pilot a series of learning modules linking the core integrated science content
areas of earth science, biology, chemistry and physics.
“We are very pleased that the NSF has liked what we have done so far and has made it possible to continue this collaboration,” said Florida Tech President
Anthony J. Catanese.

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