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Discussion: Science Instructional Materials for Middle School: Informing Future Initiatives

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posted by: nsfemc2 @ on August 25, 1999 at 11:49AM
subject: Role of Volunteer Scientists from the Private Sector

Thanks for making me aware of this discussion group. Let me introduce
myself to your discussion group audience.

I am a biochemist/consultant for Bristol Myers Squibb and was originally
with Union Camp helping to support our Local Systemic Change Initiative by
organizing a local partnership, Building Bridges To the Future. This
initiative supported the development of the the E=MC2 LSCI in central New
Jersey (Ewing, Lawrence, West Windsor-Plainsboro). I have been very
impressed by the progress that Sona and the E=MC2 program have made in
fostering real change in our local school districts.

As we move into middle school reform we need to continue to involve
industry and business.

The role of the volunteer scientist must be clearly defined and should be
more than being a cheer-leader for reform.

As we move up the education ladder there will be even more of a need for
making science education relevant to the every day lives of the students.
Industrial scientists could play a significant role in this process.

As a volunteer scientist from private industry, I know the strains that
effect the participation in science reform efforts. Without clearly
defined, specific activities for volunteer scientists, management support
for active participation can weaken quickly.

Industrial scientists need to continue to work closely with teachers to
identify those roles at the middle school. We don't want to invent
something for which there maybe little or no need. Working closely with
teachers helps to better define useful roles of the industrial scientist.

I hope that these ramblings make sense but I feel strongly that the private
sector can bring a unique perspective to reform efforts that enriches the
overall process.

Thank you.

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