NSF GK-12 Project
According to the National Science Foundation (NSF), "This program provides funding for graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines to bring their leading research practice and findings into K-12 learning settings. Through collaborations with other graduate fellows and faculty from STEM disciplines, teachers and students in K-12 environments, and community partners, graduate students can gain a deeper understanding of their own research and place it within a societal and global context. The GK-12 program provides an opportunity for graduate students to acquire value-added skills, such as communicating STEM subjects to technical and non-technical audiences, leadership, team building, and teaching while enriching STEM learning and instruction in K-12 settings. This unique experience will add value to the training of U.S. graduate students and will energize and prepare the students for a broad range of STEM careers in a competitive globalized marketplace. Furthermore, the GK-12 program provides institutions of higher education with an opportunity to transform the conventional graduate education by infusing and sustaining GK-12 like activities in their graduate programs." (http://www.nsf.gov NSF Program Solicitation 09-549)
NSF GK-12 at Temple University
This project addresses two significant issues: the need to prepare graduate students for their professional careers beyond the laboratory and the need for the educational and research communities to interact at all levels of the educational spectrum. Graduate students are a key component in this process since they are the future of science.
In this project, Temple University, in collaboration with the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) is expanding the professional opportunities for STEM graduate students. This program provides the Graduate Fellows with valuable teaching, learning and collaboration experiences. Fellows will be partnered with science and mathematics teachers from participating high schools. Activities based on the fellows' research, which optimize inquiry-based instruction, are designed to advance science teaching in Philadelphia high schools and to facilitate participants' collaborations.