The project will expand The Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin (JSG) efforts in educational outreach to the K-12 community by providing high quality geoscience professional development to 8th to 12th grade minority and minority-serving science teachers and teacher mentors throughout Texas. The overarching project goals are to (1) develop a rigorous geoscience professional development program for minority and minority-serving teachers for a new Texas high-school level capstone Earth and Space Science course that can serve as model for other states; (2) ensure that all teacher participants attain the basic foundation for the new capstone course, helping this course to remain a viable option for core credit to satisfy the fourth science; and (3) support teachers from the JSG GeoFORCE program's network of educators in southwest Texas who receive this professional development to implement improved Earth science instruction in their own classrooms. Professional development will be provided through several activities, including: 1) Professional Development Academies (PDA's), with The Texas Regional Collaboratives for Excellence in Science Teaching (TRC), to train 70 teacher mentors each semester, who will in turn bring the training to 25 teachers at each of the 35 Regional Collaboratives. Eight different PDA's of 70 teachers each. 2) Summer Institutes for 25 highly motivated TRC teacher mentors. These institutes will comprise two 2-week sessions. They will train the teacher mentors to train other teachers to implement the new Earth and Space Science course in Texas high schools. Two 2-year institutes of 25 students each. 3) GeoFORCE Education Academies. Similar to the summer institute, these academies are designed to help teachers from SW Texas who are part of the GeoFORCE network to implement the new Texas Earth and Space Science course. Rather than bring these teachers to Austin, training will be brought to them in the form of 8 professional development workshops. Two 8-unit academies will serve 25 participants each. 4) On-Line Learning Communities, designed to keep the teachers in contact with facilitators and fellow teachers between and after training, and to share best practices, and new information. The project will directly impact 140 TRC teacher mentors (2 cohorts of 35 TRC teacher teams representing each of the 35 Regional Collaboratives, or 70 teacher mentors, over 4 years = 140 teacher mentors) and 50 GeoFORCE southwest Texas teachers (2 cohorts of 25 teachers over 4 years = 50 teachers). Each two-person TRC teacher-mentor team is expected to reach 25 additional teachers each year, for a total of 3,500 additional TRC teachers directly impacted by the project.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Directorate for Geosciences (GEO)
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Jill L. Karsten
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University of Texas Austin
United States
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