Summer Institute for Science, Math, and Technology Teachers
at the University of Massachusetts
- Monday to Friday,
June 24 - 28, 2013 at UMass Amherst
by the National Science Foundation
by the STEM Education Institute
and High School Science, Math, and Technology Teachers
- Teams of science and computer teachers encouraged
- Participants MUST bring a digital camera, and are
encouraged to bring a laptop computer (see note at bottom)
- Stipends ($375),
materials, parking, lunches
- Housing for those outside the commuting radius
graduate credits available at reduced cost; free PDP's (Professional Development
year follow-up with UMass faculty assistance
We are pleased to
announce a new NSF funded STEM Ed program entitled STEM Digital Images
in Geoscience Investigations: Teaching Analysis with Light, or
STEM DIGITAL. It will enable high school and middle school teachers and
students to conduct environmental research aided by the analysis of
images from digital cameras, scanners, and the Internet.
Image analysis plays a
role in the workplace and offers excellent career opportunities.
Digital cameras are powerful tools for inquiry based curricula,
classroom research, and learning about image analysis. They have become
ubiquitous as their prices plummet and capabilities improve, making
them affordable for classroom use. However, teachers and students
mainly use digital images for documentation: creating PowerPoint
presentations, handouts, posters, etc. There are good examples in the
literature of how to use digital imaging as an investigative tool, but
these are seldom seen in classrooms.
STEM DIGITAL will
show how digital image analysis can be
applied to environmental quality issues in ways that can readily be
engaging students and encouraging them to think about related careers.
The project will develop research agendas that will employ a variety of
image analysis tools. The air quality theme, led by Steve Schneider
(Astronomy), will focus on the three components of the atmosphere that
primarily affect visible, infrared and ultraviolet light, respectively:
particulates and aerosols, carbon dioxide, and ozone. The water quality
theme, led by David Reckhow (Engineering) will look at the role of
plant biomass on drinking water quality and on global carbon cycling.
Arsenic is listed as number one in the US in terms of environmental
contaminants that pose a potential threat to human health; research
topics will include the identification and mapping of local arsenic
contaminated sites and bioremediation possibilities. This will expand
on the impressive arsenic outreach program of Julian Tyson (Chemistry).
DIGITAL will use the AnalyzingDigitalImages software which
provides free, easy-to-use tools for spatial, temporal, spectral, and
intensity measurements. This package was developed by John
Pickle, formerly at the Museum of Science in Boston and now at Concord
Academy. There will be three cohorts of 30 teachers who will attend
one week summer institutes in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
In the fall of 2013, we will offer a 13-week online version of the program.
This will become a permanent part of an online M.Ed. program.
Connections with curriculum
standards and careers will be highlighted.
As usual in STEM Ed
teacher incentives will include stipends, food and housing as needed,
and funds for materials. They will receive free “Professional
Development Points” needed for continuing licensure, or optional
reduced-cost graduate credits. The project will encourage applications
from teams with STEM teachers and computer teachers or coordinators in
order to strengthen the impact of the program in the school.
You may choose to also participate in an academic year follow up and work on
approximately six projects spread over the fall and spring semesters. These
will be a combination of new projects, extensions from summer projects, and
data sharing projects. The timing and content of these projects will be
largely decided by the teachers during the summer workshop to match their
Three optional graduate credits will be available for the institute; the
cost will be $300 plus a $45 registration fee. PDP's will be provided at no
cost. Summer participants will be required to submit a lesson plan and all
accompanying materials by August 20th . Grades for the course or PDP's will
be issued shortly after that. Another 3 credits will be available at $345
for the academic year component.
STEM DIGITAL will enable
teachers and their students to use digital images and image analysis
software for qualitative and quantitative analysis, engaging students,
improving their in-depth understanding of fundamental science and
technology, and ultimately increasing their interest in STEM and
information technology careers. It will add to our knowledge of
important environmental processes related to the movement of arsenic
compounds in the environment and the dissolution of natural organic
matter. It will also allow us to compare the efficacy of the in-person
and online professional development programs.
*Note on cameras and computers:
You don’t need to be an expert photographer or computer
user, but you should be comfortable with both.