>> Texas Teachers Conducting Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory through the Teacher Research Academy
Texas Teachers Conducting Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory through the Teacher Research Academy
April 3, 2012
Kimberlyn Grantham, Chemistry and Physics teacher at Dublin High
School and Columbia High School Physics teacher Van Willey have
joined an elite group of educators chosen to attend the Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory Teacher Research Academy in
Livermore, California, June June 18th - July 13th. The Teacher
Research Academy (TRA) offers middle school, high school and
community college faculty unique professional development
experiences at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). TRA
teachers participate in a continuum of standards-based instruction,
enabling them to progress from novice to mastery in exciting
scientific disciplines while they experience the application of
real world science in an environment teachers seldom
The instructors in the TRA are master science teachers from high
school and universities who have extensive expertise in the science
content areas they teach. One of the primary goals of the program
is to show teachers how to teach through practical application,
with the ultimate goal of helping young students learn through
their own science research projects. Participants are given
opportunities that most science teachers never experience. As a
part of the program, teachers
- Meet scientists.
- Visit research laboratories.
- Observe science being performed in the laboratory.
- Learn technical writing skills to better communicate scientific
- Experience the nature of science through direct
- Use science equipment, processes, practices found in research
- Apply science to solve real problems.
Ms. Grantham and Mr. Willey will attend the Fusion/Astrophysics
segment of the program, where teachers work with fusion research,
astrophysics, and atomic physics. Advanced programs are offered in
astrophysical studies with a focus on classical gravitational
physics and General Relativity. As members of research teams,
teachers are able to learn the nature of science, research
strategies and methods, and technical writing to communicate
research findings. At the completion of the summer research
experience each teacher is expected to create and present a
research poster at the LLNL Summer Research Symposium. They are
required to create a lesson plan that will extend their research
experience into the classroom.
"I plan to use the experience at TRA to enable me to speak to my
students from experience, not just a research point of view on
nuclear physics," said Mr. Willey. "I hope to use the experience to
energize me so I can fuel the passion of my students. Maybe I can
then increase their desire to consider entering into the nuclear
workforce as engineers and technicians."
"I cannot express how appreciative I am to NPI for giving me
opportunities. Being a lifelong learner is important and NPI has
helped me reach this goal and empower students with the knowledge I
have gained," remarked Ms. Grantham.
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