STEP, a NASA-funded project, will provide a select group of 6–8th grade science specialists and lead teachers in the Houston region with in-depth Earth and Space Science content, activities, and pedagogy through 15 days of professional development (delivered over an 18 month period), aligned with Texas Earth and Space Science standards. STEP leaders then assist the participants in their roles as specialists and lead teachers in presenting workshops to other teachers, over two years.
I've really enjoyed the STEP cohort. I've been able to meet a lot of great science teachers in the Houston area, and the workshops have been 100% aligned to our current TEKS. The lessons are up-to-date and ready to be used in the classroom immediately.My understanding about how rocks are formed was greatly enriched.
Suddenly plate tectonics and rocks actually seemed to go together. It was awesome.
I have a better grasp of the concepts of gravity as well as the relationship between solar system, galaxy and universe.
I have a better/deeper understanding of the content. I also got some great tools/activities to take back to implement in the classroom.
The hands on clarified my understanding and debunked my misunderstandings.
My biggest growth relates to how we can spiral one content area into another. This is so powerful and important.
The Lunar and Planetary Institute will
- Provide content and activities to support all 6-8th grade Earth and Space Science TEKS, through 15 days of professional development (delivered over an 18 month period), as well as online evening professional development. Click here for the planned workshop schedule for 2013–2014
- Create connections to current research by partnering with local scientists who will act as mentors and provide supplementary content.
- Work with all participants to determine a schedule for the professional development that best fits as many participant needs as possible.
- Support STEP participants in developing and conducting their own professional development for middle school teachers.
- Provide substitute reimbursement to participating school districts (as needed).
- Provide stipends of $50 per workshop to all participants attending at least 85% of the workshops (not including optional online opportunities).
- Create loaner kits of materials available for participants to use in delivering their own workshops.
- Conduct additional (optional) online and telephone conferences with participants to provide additional information and gather participant feedback as workshops are being planned.
Principal’s or appropriate supervisor’s agreement is required to participate in this program.
STEP Partners and Collaborators include:
- Harris County Department of Education
- NASA JSC Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Directorate
- Aldine ISD
- Channelview ISD
- Dickinson ISD
- La Marque ISD
- Spring ISD
- Waller ISD
- Galveston County Regional Collaborative
- Lake Houston Science Collaborative
- Rice Regional Collaborative
- University of Houston Clear Lake Regional Collaborative
STEP includes a variety of scientists who will share their ongoing research in a variety of Earth and space science fields and mentor STEP participants.
For more information, please contact
Formal Education Lead
Lunar and Planetary Institute