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Resources and Opportunities

Great Explorations In Math and Science (GEMS)

Science and mathematics teachers who need new ideas might look to GEMS for inspiration. These publications (teacher guides, handbooks, assembly presentations, and exhibit guides) include many of the essentials of hands-on science and mathematics instruction. GEMS workbooks (most of which range from $10 to $15) engage students in direct experience and experimentation before introducing explanations of principles and concepts. GEMS integrates mathematics with life, earth, and physical science.

GEMS offers titles for students from preschool to high school. Many of the guides offer suggestions for linking activities across the curriculum into language arts, social studies, and art.

A product of the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley, the activities and lessons were designed and refined in classrooms across the country. The growing list of titles now includes 37 teacher's guides and 5 GEMS handbooks. For more information:

Lawrence Hall of Science
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720
Telephone: (510) 642-7771.

Teacher Institutes

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation sponsors a program of professional support for science, mathematics, and history teachers in middle and secondary levels. In the TORCH (Teacher Outreach) program, teams of master teachers share new techniques, ideas, and resources with fellow teachers across the country. About 3,000 teachers attended last summer's institutes, which are hosted at colleges, universities, and other organizations. In the past two years TORCH institutes were held in Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. While there is a registration fee, many Title II coordinators or school districts can offer assistance. Surveys of past participants of the one-week institutes provide strong evidence that the sessions are a lasting source of professional renewal. Contact the Woodrow Wilson Foundation for a summer 1995 schedule.

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
CN 5281
Princeton, NJ 08543-5281
Telephone: (609) 452-7007

Reforming the Science Curriculum

The SS&C (Scope, Sequence and Coordination of Secondary School Science) project has been working for the reform of the science curriculum since 1990. Backed by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Dept. of Education, the SS&C has concentrated on middle school science until this year, when its focus expanded to high school. SS&C offers two-day workshops for schools interested in making substantive changes in the way science is taught across the grades. Basic to the SS&C philosophy is the idea that students should study all topics from every major science discipline at every grade level, K-12. SS&C supports active student participation in the learning process, a curriculum that includes a modest number of topics treated in depth, and student assessment consistent with course goals and teaching strategies. For more information contact:

SS&C Project
National Science Teachers Association
1840 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22201-3000
Telephone: (703) 243-7100.

Geometry on the Internet

For teachers and students who are linking into Internet resources, a project from Swarthmore University might be of interest. The Math Forum provides a unique collection of geometry materials for the K-12 and college communities. The Forum includes a great number of sketches, scripts, and demos. Many of the examples can be downloaded and used with Geometers Sketchpad or Cabri Geometre software. The service provides abstracts of relevant books and articles and offers a bibliography of geometry-related articles in Mathematics Teacher. A problem of the week and a problem of the month are posted for student solutions and successful answers are presented for readers' review. The Forum is packed with interesting exchanges and ideas and there is a real sense of shared excitement from its staff and participants.

The Math Forum Web page can be accessed at:

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1995 Southwest Educational Development Laboratory Credits
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