UNH IMPACT Center Hosts Workshop for Sciences Teachers throughout the Granite State

By Kim Billings
UNH News Bureau

December 21, 2000

DURHAM, N.H. -- The second of three workshops for New Hampshire elementary school teachers to experience exemplary science programs will be held Thursday, Jan. 25. The deadline to register is Monday, Jan. 15. Applications are available through the UNH IMPACT Center website at www.unh.edu/impact.

More than 70 teachers attended the first workshop at five satellite sites throughout the state. Each location is connected to the others throughout the Granite State Distance Learning Network, which enables both active audio and video exchanges among all locations.

Sponsored by the University of New Hampshire's new IMPACT Center, the two-hour program will showcase Science, Technology and Children (STC), a complete science program for children in grades 1 through 6. Filled with innovative hands-on activities designed to motivate young students, it was developed by leaders in the fields of education and science through National Science Foundation support. It is used all over the U.S.

In order to make it available to as many teachers as possible, the workshop will be conducted simultaneously at four sites throughout the state -- Durham, Bow, Keene and Littleton.

According to Barbara Hopkins, coordinator of the IMPACT Center, the satellite sites will be staffed by experienced teacher specialists from around New England who will engage participants in activities with materials provided as part of the STC program. UNH faculty will demonstrate materials and activities used by STC.

"The purpose of the workshops," says Hopkins, "is to show teachers some of the standards-based program options they have for science and mathematics education."

Hopkins, along with faculty from university's education department and College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, also will help schools select and implement new standard-based programs, such as STC, Insights and others.

The UNH IMPACT Center, founded by several UNH faculty members, is devoted to helping schools improve math and science instruction, and to meet new standards for teaching and assessment established by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Academy of Sciences.

The standards, Hopkins explains, form the basis for new state assessment tests across the country. The UNH center offers consultations, training, and support to schools adopting new programs and new classroom technology, such as computer-based laboratory equipment and graphing calculators. More importantly, it creates a partnership between UNH math, science, and education professors and teachers and administrators in K-12 schools.

The UNH IMPACT Center opened during the summer with a $250,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, administered through the Center for the Enhancement of Science and Mathematics Education and Northeastern University. It joins six other IMPACT Centers across New England.

To register for the workshop, which runs after school, from 4 to 6 p.m., call Hopkins at 603-862-2684, or register online at www.unh.edu/impact/calendar.html.

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