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“SSP is proud to name the first group
of Fellows and to offer resources and training to communities where
independent, inquiry-based research can be out of reach. These teachers
represent the hope of America and the world, as they will enable a
broad representation of our brightest students to fully explore their
intelligence and creativity and apply them to finding solutions for our
greatest medical, technological, and environmental
- Elizabeth Marincola, President SSP/Publisher Science News
The first class of 10 SSP Fellows convened at the "Fellows Institute", held the week of July 27, 2009 in Washington DC. The purpose of the Fellows Program is to enable the Fellows through training and funds to help their students design an original independent research project that will be carried out over the course of 3-4 years. Attendance at the Fellows Institute and completion of the Project Management Plan enabled each Fellow to receive two graduate credits from Portland State University.
The Fellows Institute is made up of both hands on workshops and field trips encompassing the following topics:
The 2009 class of SSP Fellows selected to participate all teach in schools that serve under-served and under-resourced students. The overarching purpose of the Institute was to help the SSP Fellows in using the resources available to them through this program to develop high caliber independent research programs for students in their respective schools.
The 2009 SSP Fellows Institute followed the principles of a hands-on, student-centered pedagogy. The Institute illustrated this principle by placing Fellows in the role of students. The training was interactive and customized to the backgrounds of the Fellows selected. The Fellows were paired with each other throughout the week during activities which helped facilitate many peer to peer mentoring opportunities. The workshop sessions were designed to allow the Fellows to follow one idea from start to finish. This modeled the manner that we would hope to allow students to pursue a research question from inception to conclusion.
During the Institute, instructors covered three overarching themes:
In order to create diversity in learning, there were also ‘lunch and learn’ sessions at which the Fellows discussed the topics of the day with other guest instructors invited by SSP. One ‘lunch and learn’ session was devoted to developing research programs in their school and two local magnet schools (Poolesville High School from Poolesville, MD, and Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, VA) sent teachers to that session to share best practices.
In addition to expanding the horizons of the Fellows through curricular activities, each Fellow is required to develop a professional, Project Management Plan (PMP) that was created specifically by SSP for the HS teacher to use over the course of the year. Project management concepts empower the teaching professional and help to professionalize the teacher resulting in better management of everyday challenges in their scientific research programs. Through the study of Project Management, teachers are able to gain a more complete understanding of the subject matter while developing essential 21st Century applied skills such as incorporating new technologies, collaboration, communications and leadership. The combined goals to infuse pedagogy and program management provided an intense week of guiding student research.
Industrial experience shows that well-planned programs are done on time, within resource constraints, and with high quality and well-motivated participants. Poor planning leads to surprises: Tasks are not done on time, dependencies are not understood, deadlines are missed, quality suffers, and participants are frustrated and feel unsuccessful.
Please see 2009 SSP Fellows Institute instructors Bios here.
Society for Science & the Public (SSP) acknowledges with gratitude the following people and organizations for their important contributions to the 2009 inaugural SSP Fellows Program.
The Intel Foundation
Members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives
Rep. Henry Brown, Jr. (R-SC)
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)
Rep. Harry Teague (D-NM)
Rep. John T. Salazar (D-CO)
Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI)
Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK)
Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM)
Portland State University, Graduate School of Education
Johns Hopkins University/Center for Talented Youth
James Ellenbogen, Senior Principal Scientist, Nanosystems Group
Coordinator, MITRE Student Program
Erin Dolan, Associate professor of biochemistry and Outreach Director Fralin Life Science Institute at Virginia Tech
Robert Richardson, East Coast Education Manager, Intel Corporation
George Bieber, Director, Information Assurance Workforce Improvement Program
U.S. Department of Defense
Brenda Oldfield, Director of Training and Education, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Gina Schatterman, AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow Serving
National Institutes of Health Office of Science Education
Poolesville High School:
Mark Curran, Head of House, Science, Math, Computer Science
Teresa Petralli-Mallow -Student Research Coordinator Science, Math, Computer Science
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology:
Evan Glazer, Principal
Heather Sondel, Assistant Principal,
Bob Latham, Lab Director for Optics and Modern Physics
Jim Jarvis, Science and Technology Division Manager
Matt Pearce, Mentorship Coordinator
National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Math, Science & Technology
National Institutes of Health
National Academy of Sciences
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