Professional Development: UMASS Earth and Space Science Summer Institute

When: Tuesday and Wednesday, August 14 – 15, 2012, 9:00 to 3:30 each day

Where: UMass Amherst

Audience: Middle and High School Teachers

The Earth and Space Science summer institute, sponsored by NSF and the STEM Education Institute at UMASS, will develop an understanding of planetary accretion and evolution and the place of the Earth in the solar system.  The following are some of the topics that will be covered:


  • Making a planet: from elements to dust to planetesimals
  • Why are there volcanoes?
  • What do we see in NASA photos?
  • What is the lifetime of a planet?

 Along the way, they will cover pertinent topics in mathematics, including units and converting units, scale and dimensional analysis, scientific notation and significant figures.  After the course, participants are encouraged to develop curriculum units that will be uploaded to the course website, edited as a group, and piloted during the school year. This material will be available for other teachers to use (with the writer’s permission) via a course website.  Participants will receive an $80/day stipend ($160 total) and free PDPs (no graduate credit). 

Application process: Teachers should prepare a brief narrative statement of how they intend to use the institute materials in
their classroom. They should also include in their application package a recent resume and a letter of support from their school
principal or superintendent.  Please see their website for an application form, due April 1.

Note: WGBY is not affiliated with this professional development opportunity.  As a partner of the PVSTEMNET, WGBY is interested in passing along this opportunity to all interested teachers.  Please contact the organizers directly for details.

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