Science education in Montgomery County Public Schools will benefit from grants this year in excess of $1 million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).
The grants will provide internship opportunities for both teachers and students, train elementary school master science teachers, establish a student inquiry project, continue support for environmental education programs with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Audubon Naturalist Society, and support the sixth year of the Fun with DNA Program for middle school students.
This year's grants are part of nearly a decade of support from HHMI that has greatly enhanced and enriched science education in the school system. The research internship program, now in its eighth year, was designed to encourage educational advancement in science and increase opportunities for motivated high school students to perform hands-on scientific research under the direction of experienced mentors. In the program for educators, science teachers are given the opportunity to experience laboratory research and to bring that experience back to their classrooms.
The new grants, which build on previous multi-year grants awarded from HHMI of more than $6 million since 1990, include:
A $550,000 three and a half-year award to the NIH Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences for student and teacher internships. The grant provides an opportunity for secondary school teachers in Montgomery County and the Washington D.C. metropolitan area to spend a summer in the biomedical research laboratories at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
A $390,000 three-year award to the Montgomery County Public Schools to train 120 elementary school master science teachers. The grant will provide intensive professional training on developing science inquiry skills in students. The culminating activity of the project will be a student inquiry conference in which students will present research they have designed and conducted for peer review.
Two grants totaling $512,000 to the Montgomery County Public Schools for on-the-water and classroom environmental education, in collaboration with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
$68,300 for a three and a half-year in-service environmental science education program for Montgomery County teachers, conducted by the Audubon Naturalist Society. The program will consist of science content training focusing on the biological aspects of environmental study.
A one-year award of $26,000 to support the sixth year of Fun With DNA, a summer program for middle school students, at Thomas Edison High School of Technology in Wheaton.