Biology, chemistry, physics and math are interdisciplinary, but in our schools they tend to stay in silos. For students to develop a richer, more comprehensive understanding of STEM disciplines, we need to foster interdisciplinary problem-based learning.
Currently, PDCE and UD’s Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (ISE) Laboratory are partnering with high school math and science teachers from six districts and two private schools to participate in a two-year Delaware Department of Education Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) grant, Practicing the STEM Practices in an Interdisciplinary Laboratory Setting.
Additional opportunities for professional development in science education will be made available in the upcoming months.
Practicing the STEM Practices in an Interdisciplinary Laboratory Setting is a program of professional development for school teams of secondary science and math teachers to develop lesson plans that meet the national Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards.
- Phase 1 (winter 2014) invited teachers from Delaware’s public, private and parochial schools to the UD’s ISE Lab to design interdisciplinary lessons for their high school students.
- Phase 2 (spring 2014), teachers integrated new lesson plans into their classrooms.
- Phase 3 (summer 2014) secondary students will attend a one-week academy on campus where their teachers will collaborate with UD’s professional development providers to fine tune the curriculum.
- Phase 4 (fall 2014) based upon their findings from the summer academy, teachers will refine and implement these lessons in their own classrooms for the 2014-2015 school year.
This cycle of learn, design, test, refine and implement will be repeated during the second year of funding. During each year, participants will experience 64 hours of facilitated professional development as well as 24 hours of professional learning in the context of peer collaboration.
For more information on this program, see Stem Connections.