Bates awards science grants to area schools

Bates College has awarded more than $20,000 to the Auburn Land Lab, Lewiston High School, Lewiston’s McMahon and Longley elementary schools as well as Morse High School and Bath Middle School through the Bates College Science Education Outreach Grant program. The awards are sponsored by Bates and funded by major grants to the college from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the nation’s largest private funder of research and education in science and health.

The Bates Science Education Outreach Grant program seeks to enhance science education in under-resourced K-12 schools in Maine, while cultivating ongoing collaborative relationships among K-12 teachers, Bates faculty members and Bates students.

The Auburn Land Lab received two awards. The first, a $4,060 grant, will help develop the lab’s Professional Development Center, where Maine educators, high school and college students and community members can receive training in environmental education, global satellite positioning, water quality, forest ecology, wildlife tracking and regional geology. Auburn Land Lab Environmental Educator Tracy Gregoire, a 1997 Bates graduate, will collaborate with Curtis Bohlen, assistant professor of environmental studies at Bates.

The Auburn Land Lab also received a grant of $5,000 to support the L/A Network of GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) schools. GLOBE is a worldwide network of 5,000 schools participating in hands on environmental science, monitoring and data collection. The Bates award will help equip GLOBE school sites at Auburn Middle School, Edward Little High School, Sherwood Heights School, Walton School and Webster School in Auburn, and at Lewiston’s Longley Elementary School. Bates professors of geology Lois Ongley and Michael Retelle will collaborate with GLOBE Coordinator Patricia Gaudreau, a teacher at Webster School in Auburn.

Lewiston High School has received a $3,000 planning grant to develop an annual science fair beginning in 1999-2000. The goal, according to Michael Hutchins, chair of the science department at Lewiston High School, is to generate interest and aptitude in the sciences among all Lewiston High School students. Working on the project with Hutchins and his colleagues will be Anne Dodd, visiting associate professor of education at Bates, who will recruit Bates students to act as mentors for Lewiston High School science students.

Teachers at Lewiston’s McMahon and Longley elementary schools have been awarded $5,000 to support their efforts to redesign science curriculum for grades four, five and six. Under the direction of Janice Plourde, director of elementary education, and Susan Martin, Bates-Longley School Project coordinator, the project will involve many teachers at the two schools, as well as Lee Abrahamsen, associate professor of biology at Bates. Bates funds will help purchase supplies and equipment for new curriculum units in life sciences and physical sciences.

Teachers at Morse High School and Bath Middle School have been awarded $3,200 to integrate math, science and technology across grade levels at the two Bath schools. Teachers Laura Joyce of Morse High School and Rosanne Graef of Bath Middle School will collaborate with John Smedley, associate professor of physics, on designing a curriculum that emphasizes data collection and interpretation using graphing calculators.

Bates awarded $30,000 in Science Education Outreach Grants to area schools in spring 1998. The grants are available to Maine teachers and school administrators who design science or mathematics education projects that have a direct impact on students in grades K-12, either in the classroom or in the context of after-school activities. The projects must include some collaboration between a Bates student or faculty member and a K-12 teacher or administrator. Grants of $100 to $5,000 are available for projects conducted during the academic year. Grants of up to $10,000 are available for major equipment acquisitions or for summer curriculum development projects.

The next deadline for application for the Bates Science Education Outreach Grants is Feb. 15. For application information call Kerry O’Brien, assistant dean of the faculty at Bates, at 207-786-6065.

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