Today, I listened to five K-12 science teachers who had been in our department for the last six weeks doing research internships. They were the first in a new program we have called STRIDES, which I think stands for South Texas Research Internships... something something. We had a real cross section of teachers with different experiences, teaching different grade levels.
It was fun.
It was interesting to hear their reflections on things they learned. For instance, several of them mentioned that they really noticed the high level of vocabulary used in a research setting – the precision that comes with technical terms, and they talked a bit about how they could try to bring some of that to their classrooms.
But more importantly, it was great to see how energized they were by working in a lab, on a bona fide original research project, for a few weeks. I think those teachers are really going to have a chance to light a few fires when their school year starts up again.