Detailed Project Description
The Research Goes to School Program is a five-year program funded by the National Science Foundation. Each year-long cycle includes the participation of in-service teachers with Noyce Scholars and Woodrow Wilson Fellows (Stem Goes Rural students) at a two-week summer workshop to provide education about advanced research in areas of global challenges such as sustainability and climate change. In addition, the in-service teachers will provide leadership in the two Regional Summits held during the school year. All participants will have access to two-way webinars and social networking sites to share lesson plans, questions, and ideas with fellow teachers. The webinars will also provide opportunities to clarify and deepen scientific knowledge through contact with scientists at Purdue. Eight (8) in-service teachers will be selected to participate in year one. Surveys, questionnaires, and focus groups will be utilized throughout the year to give us information to develop a best-practice model for delivering grand challenge research topics into high school classrooms. Please note that the collected information will comprise data for our research project to examine the effectiveness of the program model in delivering and integrating STEM research topics into high school science classrooms.
As a gateway to this new model of learning, we are teaching educators about research on the conversion of biomass to bio-fuels. Sustainable bio-fuels are a cutting-edge global issue. Rural Indiana students are right in the heart of the action! Crops grown in their “back forty” are the energies of the future. It is imperative that we help them make the connection between the science they study in school, the crops gown all around them, and the pressing global needs of a sustainable energy source. “From Field to Fuel – The Science of Sustainable Energy” is designed to help teachers make those connections for their students. Ultimately, we hope to spark interest in STEM fields by sharing numerous grand-challenge topics with prospective college students, especially in rural settings.