Annual Report Overviews
Science Teacher Enhancement in The Pike's Peak Region (STEP-uP)Annual Report Overview
Research and Education Activities:
Science Teacher Enhancement Project unifying the Pikes Peak Region (STEP-uP) is a five district collaborative working with Agilent Technologies to improve science instruction for elementary students. The project vision utilizes a differentiated professional development model to build teacher expertise, capacity and leadership. Located in the Pikes Peak Region of Colorado, the participating districts include: Harrison District Two, Colorado Springs District Eleven, Cheyenne Mountain District Twelve, Academy District Twenty, and Lewis-Palmer District Thirty-Eight which represent 1,326 teachers of elementary science. Each of these districts has had a successful initial curriculum launch. The STEP-uP project seeks to sustain those efforts and boost districts to the next level of implementation through a three-tiered approach.
Tier I focuses on basic implementation of science kit, integrating standards, mentoring, and equitable instructional strategies and is designed for new teachers. Teachers accumulate 45 hours in Tier I. Tier II focuses on science content learning, inquiry pedagogy, integrating standards using unifying concepts, and research-based instructional strategies. Courses are centered around major organizing concepts, e.g. constancy and change, and address the content of several kits. Each course is 45 hours. Tier III focuses on leadership development in science education. Tier III includes several options: Master of Arts in Teaching in Integrated Science, Science Leadership courses, principal and parent support, and activities specifically designed to support the science resource teachers.
STEP-uP began May 1, 2000. Activities to date-include:
1. Tier I
2. Tier II
3. Tier III
4. Other activities of STEP-uP
At this mid-point of year one, we have made substantial progress in implementing the project. We are now concentrating on establishing additional courses and recruiting teachers. We anticipate our Advisory Board will contribute important feedback and suggestions for enhancing our work.
We have served 132 participating teachers and anticipate serving an additional 120 before the close of year one.
We have modified our leadership component to diversify the options and to build capacity of current teachers to serve in a variety of leadership roles.
We have been encouraged by the Lead Evaluator's report and her high marks give to our lead scientists who practice inquiry. Informal feedback from teachers comment on the STEP-uP courses modeling the model of inquiry that we espouse.
The report of the Lead Evaluator is available from Horizon Research, Inc.
Training and Development:
3. Opportunities for training and development
Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III as described on previous pages
STEP-uP's strategies for:
a. deepening teacher's content knowledge
b. effective pedagogy and assessment
c. Utilizing science kits
d. Supporting implementation in the classroom
Extent of Teacher Involvement:
Tier I: 271 total teachers in kit trainings which represents approximately 135 individual teachers taking an average of 2 kit trainings
Tier II: 115 in Earth and Life Science courses @ 45 hours each
Tier III: 20 MAT candidates @150 hours each
Degree of classroom and school implementation:
All districts have been implementing kits for 5 to 7 years
PD for non-teachers:
Principal meetings regarding science and literacy research
Mentoring of science faculty