Teaching Teachers to Teach Science

California Department of Education provides $500,000 to promote STEM learning among middle and high school students in the Coachella Valley

William Grover standing in front of a classroom.

William Grover, an assistant professor of bioengineering, teaches Coachella Valley teachers.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — The University of California, Riverside is part of a regional collaborative partnership group that was awarded a three-year, $500,000 grant from the California Department of Education to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning among middle and high school students in the Coachella Valley.

Although activities associated with the grant began in February, the central training portion of the project kicked off this week with over 60 middle and high school teachers from the Coachella Valley, Palm Springs and Desert Sands unified school districts.

UC Riverside’s Palm Desert Center, in collaboration with the UC Riverside MESA (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement) program, is hosting this training. Additionally, UC Riverside faculty from the Bourns College of Engineering provided content knowledge and guidance to the program developers.

During each of the three years of the grant, teachers will be expected to attend 60 hours of professional development, via week long sessions at UC Riverside’s Palm Desert Center and several after school and weekend sessions. Twenty-four hours of classroom follow-up will also be provided by district and professional development partners.

The following groups are members of the regional collaborative partnership: Coachella Valley Economic Partnership; SMART Education; College of the Desert Desert Energy Enterprise Center; Cal State San Bernardino Palm Desert Campus; UC Riverside’s Palm Desert Center; and Linked Learning groups at the Coachella Valley, Palm Springs and Desert Sands unified school districts.

The California Department of Education awarded 18 of these California Math Science Project teacher professional development grants to create units and modules that promote STEM and the implementation of the new Next Generation Science Standards. Grants were awarded to regional partnership teams throughout the state that consisted of school district, community colleges, higher education institutions and community organizations.

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