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Fairmont State Receives Grant for Science Literacy Workshop Impact
Fairmont State News

Fairmont State Receives Grant for Science Literacy Workshop

Apr 25, 2024Academics, Events

ERC workshop

Fairmont State University has been awarded $31,000 in grant funding from the West Virginia Department of Education. The grant will be used to host an Elementary Earth and Space Science Literacy Workshop for elementary school teacher’s professional development.

The five-day workshop, to be held in conjunction with the NASA Katherine Johnson Independent Verification and Validation Education Resource Center (ERC), aims to enhance K-5 educators’ required reading and writing instruction by embedding science into those lessons.   

The workshop will include both grade level-specific breakout group instruction and whole group sessions. Teachers will be provided with Open Education Resources (OER) and classroom sets of Earth and Space Science teaching materials including trade books, English and Language Arts(ELA) activities, writing activities, and science activities. Additionally, educators attending will receive a stipend for each day of the workshop. 

The project is led by Dr. Deb Hemler, Chair of Fairmont State University’s Department of Natural Sciences. “Elementary teachers are required to allocate daily blocks of time for ELA and math instruction, leaving little time for subjects like science and social studies,” said Hemler. “This workshop will provide teachers with grade-level trade books and science activities to allow them to read and write about science so that ELA is not taught at the expense of science but is approached more holistically.”

This is the second consecutive year the workshop has been held. “First year participants told us in evaluations that they needed more time to plan high-quality integrated units,” Hemler stated. “We have modified the schedule for this year to improve the quality of their products. Having last year’s 34 teachers and this year’s 36 implement their units results in 70 weeks of science instruction that might not have taken place without the grant. Teachers satisfy their ELA and math time requirements in the context of science. Sounds like everyone wins to me!”

More information on how to participate.