Delavan-Darien teachers to participate in science inquiry training

DELAVAN— Teachers from the Delavan-Darien School District will once again participate in Inquiry for the 21st Century, a professional development opportunity designed to help bring more science learning into classrooms.

Turtle Creek fourth graders learn about electrical circuits using the science inquiry method. Click for more photos.

The training, a four-day summer institute held at Turtle Creek Elementary School in Delavan, teaches teachers how to effectively implement the science inquiry method. The method uses techniques to help students to understand the nature of science and develop critical thinking skills, science concepts and a sense of inquiry.

Last summer, Turtle Creek Elementary School teachers Michele Sheets and Christine Niles joined teachers from Southeast Wisconsin in the first Inquiry for the 21st Century (Inquiry 21) summer institute at UW-Madison. There, they developed a new lesson plan for students to use when they returned to school during the fall.

Using the lesson plan, fourth graders taught by Niles and Sheets learned about electric circuits through the science inquiry method.

“We were amazed by how engaged students were from start to finish during our science inquiry lesson,” Niles said.

Inquiry 21 is funded by a Federal grant and facilitated by the non-profit Wisconsin Fast Plants Program, which is housed in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences of UW-Madison.

The project incorporates a combination of face-to-face and continuing online teacher collaboration to continue development of lesson plans and curriculum that meet national standards and Wisconsin Model Academic Standards.

A four-day Inquiry 21 summer institute will be held at Turtle Creek Elementary School June 14-17, 2010. Elementary teachers from Delavan-Darien, the Wisconsin School for the Deaf in Delavan and the Wisconsin School for the Visually Handicapped in Janesville are invited to participate.

The Madison Metropolitan School District is also participating in Inquiry 21. A separate institute will be held in Madison schools this summer, as well, Niles said.

For more information about Inquiry for the 21st Century visit: www.inquiry21teachers.ning.com.

(Editor’s Note: Information on the Science Inquiry Method can be found at: http://www.nsta.org/about/positions/inquiry.aspx. Information about the Wisconsin State Standards for Science Inquiry (grade 4) can be found at: http://dpi.wi.gov/standards/scic4.html.)

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