Science

PARTICIPATING DISTRICTS:
Bentonville, Decatur, Elkins, Farmington, Fayetteville, Gentry, Gravette, Greenland, Huntsville, Lincoln, Pea Ridge, Prairie Grove, Rogers, Siloam Springs, Springdale, West Fork

PERSONNEL:
Virginia Rhame, M.Ed.           Science Specialist

Stephanie Gutierrez                Program Administrative Assistant

GOALS:
The Northwest Arkansas Education Service Cooperative, in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Education, will work with Arkansas Public School personnel to meet the following goals:

  • To align science curricula with science state and national frameworks and Common Core State Standards
  • To align science classroom assessment with statewide science exams
  • To promote science instructional strategies that use inquiry and laboratory techniques
  • To provide professional development and implementation of science training
  • To mentor and coach teachers in the classroom
  • To provide strategies for integrating science into the literacy block in the elementary classroom
  • To increase awareness of current scientific and educational research
  • To provide assistance in choosing standards-based science instructional resources
  • To integrate 21st century skills, including technology, into science instruction
  • To create safe science laboratory environments
  • To prepare with districts for the release and potential adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards.

 Link to PB Works Site:

http://nwaescscience.pbworks.com/

PROGRAM SUMMARY:
The science program at the Northwest Arkansas Education Service Cooperative is based on the identified teacher needs of the Northwest Arkansas school districts. These include increasing teachers’ content knowledge, sharing best practices, disseminating research, locating and developing supplemental teaching resources, assisting with data-driven decision making, and increasing parental involvement.  Each opportunity supports the state and national goal of scientific literacy for all students.

This position of science specialist at the Northwest Arkansas Education Service Cooperative is in its fifth year. The specialist is continuing to build relationships with administrators, teachers and university officials in order to best support science programs throughout the region.

MAJOR HIGHLIGHTS OF THE YEAR:

The 2012-2013 year was filled with several professional development opportunities with schools, teachers, and for myself.

  • Because a primary goal of the year was to prepare with districts for the release and potential adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards, I predominately offered professional development related the Next Generation for Science Standards (NGSS) and A Framework for K-12 Science Education to enable teachers to be proactive in implementing the Science and Engineering Practices and the Cross Cutting Concepts as identified by the Framework.  Educators from area districts also had opportunity to provide feedback on the second draft of the NGSS.  I also attended the Institute for Inquiry to better support integration of inquiry activities within regional k-12 science classrooms as supported by the Framework.
  • Because continuing to help districts build capacity was also a primary goal of this year, I collaborated with other specialists to provide Instructional Facilitator Training (Year 1, Days 4 and 5): Student Centered Coaching as well as participated in providing support for area Instructional Facilitators whom have already completed a majority of the state-supplied training.
  • Because supporting the development of disciplinary literacy as expected by CCSS was also a primary goal of the year (and will continue to be in the future), I became trained in the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC), the program the state is using to support disciplinary literacy in Arkansas high schools.  I will be training and providing support to area districts in LDC beginning July 2013.