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VIP K-16 Year 4 Report

Description

During Year 4, the VIP K-16 project continued its rapid growth in the scale and diversity of implementation (especially at the higher education level), in the interaction of partners, and in our efforts to evaluate our progress toward goals. In addition, this was the second year of our CASHE supplementary grant, which has taken substantial steps to evaluate sustainability of reforms in science education at the university level. The cohort of high-school teachers of Earth-Space Systems (ESS) and Matter & Energy (M&E) continued with their second year, along with a new cohort of Physics and Chemistry teachers. Teachers in each cohort participated in their four respective cohort conferences during the year, and will all join together for the Summer Institute 2006. Although the Biology cohort has officially ended, we have kept many of these teachers involved in the project by developing a program to improve their teaching and to help them align it with the statewide High School Assessments in Biology. We also implemented our second Student Inquiry Conference. Many other activities for teachers of the ESS/M&E and Physics/Chemistry cohorts also took place, as detailed in this report. In addition, we are continuing our development of curriculum guides and field tests in all science content areas.



Project implementation on the Higher Education side has continued to increase throughout Year 4. Existing activities have continued or have been greatly expanded at all IHE's, and many new activities have been created, especially at UMBC. As was the case last year, our IHE partners are leading our efforts to increase K-16 partnerships beyond the cohort conferences and Summer Institute (which are largely aimed at the K- 12 teachers and their curriculum). The IHE leadership team has continued its significant development as a learning community, with even more collaboration and mutual support than before. Three of our main strategies are now being implemented by multiple campuses: undergraduate internships in high-school classrooms, faculty learning communities (including collaborative relationships with high-school teachers), and redesign of undergraduate science curriculum.



We have also taken steps to make our most important successes sustainable,
mostly through a very productive retreat that was held in November 2005. The retreat featured the active collaboration of over 50 Master Science Teachers, IHE faculty, and other project participants and leaders, and resulted in ideas and action plans as well as new relationships among Maryland's teachers. As described in this report, the retreat represented our first effort to concretize our conception of a sustainable leadership structure such as the "Maryland Science Faculty."

The details of our project implementation and evaluation can be seen in this report's tables and narratives. Just as in past years' reports, each partner institution has supplied its own report on implementation and findings for their activities that reflects the individual contributions of that partner to the project's overall goals. However, since there is much more cohesion this year across the partners' activities, and because there are more centralized activities involving all partners, this report begins with descriptions of project-wide and IHE-wide activities.