With the addition of Project InTERSECT, we will be able to offer local educators and teacher candidates STEM and computational thinking training. Project InTERSECT focuses on Inquiry to Transform Educator Readiness for STEM+C Early Childhood Teaching. This Supporting Effective Educator Development grant (SEED) will expand existing partnerships with Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) and Northeast Florida Regional STEM2Hub to provide teachers with evidence-based professional development activities that address the need of DCPS students as well as evidence-based professional enhancement which includes activities leading to advanced credentials.
Who is Project InTERSECT for?
COEHS is seeking three cohorts to enroll in Project InTERSECT as early as the Summer 2021 term. Each cohort will include 3 different options for participation:
- STEM +C Teacher Leader Graduate Coursework,
- STEM+C Teacher Professional Development Modules, and
- STEM+C Teacher Candidate Badging.
PK-2 DCPS teacher leaders will deepen their expertise in STEM+C classroom instruction and serve as teacher leaders in STEM+C instruction. For those educators who will remain in the PK-2 classroom and serve as teacher leaders for their colleagues in the area of early childhood STEM+C instruction.
Current PK-2 DCPS Teachers will participate in online professional development modules, PLCs and coaching – then through the teacher’s own implementation inside their classroom.
Current COEHS Juniors pursuing degrees in early childhood or elementary education will complete 4 online badges coupled with individualized mentoring.
What does a Project InTERSECT Classroom look like?
The early childhood STEM+C classroom brings to mind a vision of young students in small groups, engaged in playful standards-driven exploration with a variety of manipulative materials, robots, building blocks and other tech toys. The young learners, informally stationed around the room, are carefully investigating the process needed for building a new home for a story character. Some are building content knowledge through direct teacher instruction on measurement standards. Others are engaged in creating a vehicle that can move their building materials to the imaginative construction site. Others are testing their structures by collecting and analyzing data. Some are exploring books in the literacy area on the subject related to the work the vehicle perform, while others are writing a sequel to the original story using the new home they have created. As they apply an increasingly varied range of student-led learning, they develop self-regulation, persistence, and collaboration through lively discussion with classmates.
Consider the teacher working to support student learning in this learning environment. What skills, knowledge, and dispositions does this teacher need to scaffold student learning, redirect misconceptions in math and science, and lay the foundation for critical computational thinking skills that young children will need to successfully move from early childhood learning into the challenging content needed to innovate and solve the problems they will face as adults? Envision this class with a teacher who is a leader in STEM+C education, accomplished in both CK and pedagogy, ready to facilitate in this rich learning environment. This is the vision to be brought to life through Project InTERSECT.
For questions about the College of Education and Human Services, our programs and services, and applying to UNF as a part of Project InTERSECT, please contact Latrina Patrick, Project Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about the program via the UNF News Article: UNF College of Education and Human Services awarded $4M grant to prepare PK-2 teachers in STEM Curriculum