This award is one component of a collaborative effort to fund the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) Science Education Center Partnership between Southern University in Baton Rouge (SUBR), LA, and the LIGO Livingston site in Livingston, La, through the Baton Rouge Area Foundation (BRAF). The managing institution for LIGO itself is California Institute of technology. The entire partnership includes the LIGO Laboratory, SUBR's College of Education and Physics, Mathematics, and Science/Mathematics Education Departments, the Louisiana Systemic Initiatives Program (LaSIP) and Louisiana Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (LA GEAR UP), under the LA Board of Regents, and the San Francisco Exploratorium. The LIGO Science Education Partnership is a project that combines the efforts of a cutting-edge research laboratory, a university, a State educational reform agency, and a leading museum that specializes in informal science education. The focus of the project is the creation of an effective center for teacher training and teacher education centered on LIGO activities in Louisiana. A previous award helped create the SEC building, with a classroom and a large exhibit hall, with exhibits developed by the Exploratorium and staffed by SUBR student docents and a (separately funded) professional staff. This new award will extend and strengthen this success, and begin several new activities, including studies of the way children learn in both informal and formal settings supported by this award, and the effectiveness of the teacher professional development supported by this award. These new activities will both provide scholarly work on informal and formal science education but will also provide feedback to the project which can be used to increase the effectiveness of the activities.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Physics (PHY)
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Claudia M. Rankins
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Southern University
Baton Rouge
United States
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