FACILITATING A SUMMER SCIENCE INSTITUTE
2014 Knowles Teaching Fellow Michelle Vanhala was awarded a Knowles grant to fund a three-day summer institute for the science teachers at her school—Tecumseh High School in Tecumseh, Michigan—in June 2016. Michelle designed and implemented sessions aimed at helping the six teachers in her department learn more about the new Michigan Science Standards. The participants used these learnings as they collaborated to create lessons aligned to the new standards that were enacted during the 2016–2017 academic year. All of the participants indicated an increased understanding of the new science standards and an increased confidence in their ability to enact aligned lessons via a post-institute survey. During the 2016–2017 academic year, the physics teachers integrated engineering design in several lessons while the biology and chemistry teachers focused on engaging students through inquiry. Based on the success of the institute, Michelle presented a similar session to the K–6 teachers in her district.