Summer Academy for Middle School Teachers

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Applications are now being accepted for summer 2016. Apply now!

Program Description

Iowa State University (ISU) is offering middle school science teachers the opportunity to participate in a three-week professional development workshop to study the methods of biomass utilization to produce biorenewable products, including biofuels and bio-materials. No prior knowledge in this area is necessary to be accepted into this program.  Teachers will be introduced to cutting-edge research underway at ISU to address the global challenges facing society’s dependence on finite sources of fossil-based energy.  The Summer Academy will include STEM curricula associated with this topic and applicable to the Iowa Core Curriculum and middle school science standards and benchmarks. The three weeks will include presentations by ISU faculty and staff, hands-on lab activities, and field trips to Iowa’s biorenewables-related research facilities and bio-based industries.  Teachers will collaborate and develop classroom material to present to their students about biorenewables and associated careers.  The program will be facilitated by Eric Hall, Hoover High School Des Moines.

Major Activities

  • Teachers are introduced to the science and methods of biorenewables resource utilization through classroom activities and training workshops.
  • Teachers develop scientific inquiry skills and gain experience using diverse research methods and equipment through hands-on laboratory exercises. Topics include: properties of biomass, ethanol fermentation, biodiesel production and testing, thermochemical processing of biomass, extraction of essential oils, bio-plastics production, and bio-asphalt testing.
  • Presentations are given based on one of the laboratory exercises as a result of individual mini research projects.
  • Formal visits to Iowa State University’s biorenewables-related research facilities and local bio-based industries.
  • Collaboration among peer teachers, faculty, and researchers in formal and informal settings in efforts of establishing on-going relationships and networks.

Program Highlights

  • Stipend: $800/week for three weeks
  • Travel: up to $500 travel allowance or on-campus housing
  • Classroom supplies allowance to incorporate science experience into classroom and curriculum
  • Graduate Credit and License Renewal Credit available.
  • All programs take place near Iowa State University

2016  Program Dates: June 27–July 15
Application Deadline: March 1, 2016

For further information, please contact:
Adah Leshem
(515) 294-8453

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