iQUEST: Investigations for Quality Understanding and Engagement for Students and Teachers
Over three years, thirty-two seventh and eighth grade science teachers and more than 6,000 students from San Diego will engage in classroom learning experiences that utilize interactive learning objects, probeware and video conferencing with scientists.
California State University San Marcos, Rochester Institute of Technology, San Diego County Office of Education, San Diego Science Alliance, K-12 High Speed Network, California State Parks, and nine southern California middle schools are collaborating to develop, implement, and evaluate teacher professional development and student learning experiences to enhance science and information and communication technologies (ICT) learning among underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students (primarily Hispanic and Native American) in grades 7 and 8. The major goal of the project is to promote workforce diversity by working with local students to ensure their readiness for, and interest and participation in, ICT-intensive careers. Major project activities include (1) developing ICT-enhanced STEM learning modules and resources for use in middle school physics, chemistry, and life science courses, (2) preparing 32 ICT-savvy teachers from target schools in five school districts, and (3) providing students with ICT-intensive summer camps. The curriculum component addresses grade-appropriate science and technology standards by developing classroom-based science investigation modules that employ ICT technologies such as videoconferencing, interactive games, probeware, visualizations, web resources, and social networking tools (Moodle). Thirty-two teachers will receive professional development over three years by attending Summer Academies and engaging in year-long activities that include Lesson Study and action research. Project staff, scientists, and education and computer science graduate students are providing ongoing classroom support.