This proposal is for a Local Systemic Change project to improve science teaching and learning in seven school districts in Southwest Washington State. In the 5 year project, professional development is customized to meet the specific needs of the 850 grades K-6 teachers who each receive over 100 hours enhancement over a four year period to enable teachers to implement curricula and teaching units consistent with the best inquiry based science teaching. Various levels of support for the teacher participants is provided by full time resource teachers and scientists and engineers from the community who are partnered with teachers to act as a personal resource.
Partners include faculty from science and education departments of Washington State University Vancouver, personnel from local business and agencies (e.g. Hewlett Packard and Mt. St. Helens National Monument) and the informal science community in Vancouver, Washington. A regional materials center supplies the teachers with the instructional materials that are being implemented, such as the NSF-supported FOSS, and GEMS kits.