COLUMBIA, SC – July 10, 2009 – In late June, 55 South Carolina public elementary school teachers converged on Columbia at EdVenture Children’s Museum to learn how to best integrate science into the curriculum and make it fun and interesting for students. Other elementary school teachers will participate in the annual Hands-on, Minds-on! Summer Institute in an additional two sessions in July at EdVenture.
For the fourth year, EdVenture Children’s Museum has hosted the Institute, with a goal of increasing interest in science exploration and education among students at an early age. Science education is an area of critical economic importance to South Carolina, says EdVenture President and CEO Catherine W. Horne. An interest in science has to be planted in the early years, and EdVenture has been and continues to be dedicated to providing resources to help teachers learn innovative, fun activities to integrate into their science lessons.
Many teachers have only one or two college-level science classes under their belts. EdVenture’s goal is to increase scientific teaching skills through summer learning opportunities. After Institute graduation, educators will walk away with a secure and solid knowledge of science content dictated by state curriculum standards and $500 in take-away science materials, resource manuals, cutting-edge instructional techniques, and leadership skills.
State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex last month expressed his support for a new national report that proposes establishing national science and math standards, redesigning schools to deliver science and math learning more effectively, and increasing awareness of the links between effective science and math learning and the job market.
According to the SC Department of Education, PACT testing shows third graders’ science scores rising more than 10 percentage points in the last five years. Students meeting or exceeding state science standards also have been on the rise in fourth and fifth graders. We want to push our students to achieve more in science, and educating the educators is our best methodology for increasing interest in such an important life skill as scientific understanding, says Horne.