Teachers with the Lamont Elementary School District (LESD) will soon be able to bring state-of-the-art, hands-on, interactive science lessons to their students, thanks to a new partnership with the California Science Center Foundation.
Over the course of six days in November and December, 70 teachers, principals and coaches from Alicante, Lamont and Myrtle elementary schools will participate in professional development training, which will help them create engaging science lesson plans and experiments in accordance with the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
“Science is everywhere,” says Alicante Avenue Elementary School teacher Elizabeth Vasquez. “I think us having the opportunity to learn more about how we can interact with science, teach science in different ways where students can understand it better, I think it’s very, very important.”
The partnership stems from the need to create equity and improve access to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education across all areas of Kern County. Educators will be trained using Twig Science, a phenomena-based science program, that includes lesson planning and hands-on learning.
Elena Lopez, Senior Manager of professional development at the California Science Center says the program will allow teachers to provide the best science instruction for students and get teachers more comfortable and confident in their ability to teach science.
“One thing that we want our teachers to take away is that they can go back tomorrow and they’re going to be able to teach science to students, and have science happening in the hands of the children,” she said.
The partnership between the California Science Center Foundation and LESD is made possible by a $35,000 donation from Kern Energy.
LESD teachers get hands-on professional development that they will take back to the classroom.
Lori Gonzalez, Superintendent of the Lamont Elementary School District says building these partnerships with businesses and the general community is extremely important to help the underserved areas of Kern County.
“Kern Energy building this partnership is so phenomenal because we’re now working directly with scientists to get this training that we want for our teachers.”
The next step in the partnership will be giving Lamont elementary students access to field trips to the California Science Center, which will provide students hands-on experiences and exposure to STEAM disciplines.
“Through these field trips, our students will have the opportunity to explore, learn, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings, ultimately enhancing their academic and practical skills,” says Gonzalez.