IT Experiences for Students and Teachers Using Catfish and their Environment as a Model
Fifteen hundred students and 75 teachers from a ten-county area in the Mississippi Delta engage in scientific research projects ranging from water quality to environmental sciences.
The Mississippi Valley State University project entitled "Information Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers Using Catfish and their Environment as a Model" will serve approximately 1,500 students (500 per year) and 75 teachers (25 per year) with at least two representatives from each county. The target population will be students and teachers from a ten county area in the Mississippi Delta. The project will serve a cohort of 20 ninth grade students during each summer and 500 students each academic year within a ten-county target area. A local catfish pond has been designed for use in the project. The project occurs over a three-year cycle. Project design is described as a year-round structure with each year's IT focus specified. For example, the first year will focus on water quality; the second year on the microbiology of fish diseases; and the third year on environmental sciences. These areas relate directly with catfish farming, and the training experience should enhance teachers' knowledge and understanding of IT and its distribution to STEM subject areas. Teachers will be provided on-going support during the academic year. Pilot testing by the teachers will be conducted in the summer component with students participating in the project who will also be engaged in a program of hands-on activities in technology. By providing students and teachers experiences using a pond designed for project use and year-round instructional activities, this project proposes to stimulate interest in STEM disciplines while improving student outcomes.