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Program Overview

The KBS K-12 Partnership is is a joint effort among KBS scientists, MSU College of Education faculty, and science teachers and administrators in 12 rural school districts in southwest Michigan. Since 1999 the partnership has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, including awards from the Long-Term Ecological Research Program (DEB), the Teacher Retention and Renewal Program (EHR), awards from the NSF GK-12 Program (EHR), and the NSF Math and Science Partnership. The partnership provides teachers in-depth exposure to research topics in environmental science and training to teach inquiry-based science at the elementary and secondary levels.

Current Programs:

GK-12 Bioenergy Sustainability Project: In 2010 we were awarded funds from the National Science Foundation for a new GK-12 Program called the KBS GK-12 Bioenergy Sustainability Project. You can find an overview and introduction to this new project at http://kbsgk12project.kbs.msu.edu/ . Please contact program director Tom Getty (getty@msu.edu) or program manager Sarah Bodbyl (bodbyl@msu.edu) for more information on the new KBS GK-12 Bioenergy Sustainability Project. The KBS program is part of a national network of GK-12 sites funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). NSF expects the GK-12 program to provide science graduate students skills that will broadly prepare them for their professional and scientific careers. Through interactions with teachers in K-12 schools, graduate students are expected to improve communication and teaching skills while enriching science instruction in K-12 schools. For more information about the GK-12 program and links to GK-12 projects in other states, visit the National GK-12 website.

 

NSF Math Science Partnership: This program is part of the larger Environmental Literacy Project at MSU. The goal of our project is to develop learning progressions leading toward environmental science literacy—the capacity to understand and participate in evidence-based discussions of socio-ecological systems and to make informed decisions about appropriate actions and policies—for students from upper elementary school through college.

Past Projects:

Ecological Literacy in the K-12 Classrooms of Rural Michigan. This project ran from 2006-2009. This GK-12 Program teamed KBS graduate students pursuing advanced degrees in ecology with K-12 science teachers in rural districts near KBS. The program aimed to enrich K-12 science instruction by promoting inquiry-based science teaching in participating school districts. At the same time, the program aimed to provide graduate students the opportunity to improve their teaching and science communication skills.

Major elements of the KBSK-12 Partnership programs are:

  • Classroom partnerships in which a GK-12 fellow works with one or more teachers in their classrooms approximately 10-12 hours per week. Fellows co-teach and additionally help teachers introduce inquiry activities related to ecological literacy into their classrooms and districts.

  • A one week summer teaching institute for fellows and teachers, led by MSU College of Education faculty, that focuses on providing inquiry-based approaches to learning for understanding and educational leadership.

  • School-year workshops comprised of science inquiry and teaching components designed to support classroom efforts to incorporate inquiry-based learning in K-12 science teaching.

The program brings together MSU science and education faculty committed to furthering graduate and K-12 education; K12 teachers committed to changing the way they teach science; high-quality graduate students interested in furthering their teaching knowledge and skills; and district admnistrators interested in improving science teaching in their districts.

Tom Getty

GK-12 Co-Director (Co-PI) and Professor
KBS and Department of Zoology

Andy Anderson
GK-12 Co-Director (Co-PI) and Professor
Department of Teacher Education

Sarah Bodbyl

Post-doctoral Researcher, Project Manager (Co-PI) for KBS GK-12 Project, and network coordinator for CarbonTIME
Kellogg Biological Station and Teacher Education