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Annual Report Overviews


SATURN Annual Overview

submitter: SATURN (Science and Technology for Understanding, Research and Networking)
published: 01/20/2000
posted to site: 01/21/2000
SATURN ESI-9819644
Stark County Educational Service Center
1998-1999 (Baseline Year) Overview
Reported by: Richard Dinko, PI

Program Description.

SATURN (Science And Technology for Understanding, Research and Networking) ESI-9819644 is a local systemic initiative for grades 7-12 that builds on two other projects funded by the National Science Foundation. SEEDS (Science Education Enhancing the Development of Skills), ESI-9453920, a local systemic initiative, and GRASSROOTS, ESI-9353464, were five year initiatives to improve the teaching of elementary science. SATURN also builds on the locally funded SAMM (Science and Math on the Move) initiative. SAMM (funded by local support) provides training and high-tech equipment which can be borrowed by Stark County teachers for use in their classroom.

The goal of the SATURN project is to facilitate teachers to develop and implement a quality, standards-based program, grades 7-12, that will promote science literacy for all and increase student achievement. The objective are to:

  1. Develop a clearly articulated and sequenced science curriculum, grades 7-12, based on national science education standards and Ohio proficiency standards.
  2. Identify and implement exemplary instructional materials that reflect national science education standards.
  3. Create a leadership team in every district to facilitate the localization of the curriculum, development of the scope and sequence, selection of instructional materials, and facilitate the year-long SATURN Study Group.
  4. Educate all middle school and high school science teachers in course work related to national science education standards, pedagogical and content knowledge of specific instructional materials, use of authentic assessments, and application of high performance technology (totaling 130 contact hours).
  5. Increase student achievement in science as measured by the current 9th Grade Ohio Proficiency Test and 12th Grade Ohio Proficiency Test, as well as the new Ohio High School Graduation Qualifying Exam (grade 10).

SATURN involves every school district in Stark County, Ohio and all forty-four buildings at the middle school and high school levels. Stark County consists of 17 school districts (three urban, four rural, six small town, and four suburban districts) with 30,000 students in grades 7-12, and two hundred and twenty-five science teachers.

The SATURN project is a collaborative effort of the Stark County Educational Service Center, the Stark County School District, The Education Enhancement Partnership (a local school/business foundation), businesses, colleges/universities, and local private foundations. The SATURN project relies heavily on teacher leaders to direct the project with extensive collaboration and co-teaching with outside trainers and experts.

Major Activities and Accomplishments.

The Program Management Team met in the Spring of 1999 to refine the SATURN professional development schedule. They also designed and instituted the Intro to Reform workshop for six districts (N=92 teachers). SATURN provided 51 days of workshop and training opportunities during the summer of 1999 (some training held concurrently). Ninety-six of the 219 teachers identified in the original sampling frame have had some contact hours to date. The combined treatment totals 3281.5 hours of contact with an average of 34.2 hours of contact per each of the 96 treated teachers. Contact hours for additional teachers who were treated but not included in the original sampling frame (newly hired, change in teaching assignment, etc) are not included in the data submitted in this report.

Workshops were provided in the topic area of Reform (Intro to Reform), Immersion I (SEPUP, Active Physics, Biology: A Community Context, EarthComm, FOSS, and GLOBE), Immersion II (Systems Thinking), and Tech Options (GLOBE, SAMM). A SATURN Kick-Off event, featuring keynote speaker Arthur Eisenkraft (President-Elect of NSTA and author of Active Physics) will set the stage for the 99-00 school year. Leadership training for the Lead Teachers will feature Nancy Mohr, a consultant with the Bank Street College of Education in New York and the Annenberg Institute for School Reform. Her workshop, entitled Constructivist Leadership, will provide a foundation for the facilitation skills needed by the Lead Teachers and promote the constructvist approach to group interaction that SATURN promotes.

SATURN is a program which fits in well with local district continuous improvement planning. SATURN is reacting to the Ohio Legislator's mandates for increased science performance and accountability by providing teachers with skills, tools, and time to identify district needs and to work as a district/county team to plan and implement needed improvements. A team of teachers is currently analyzing the Ohio High School Graduation Qualification Exam (HSGQE) competencies and determining the essential understandings of each competency. This analysis should aid districts in addressing course alignment issues.