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EnLiST Facilitates Teacher Collaboration Across School Buildings to Improve Science Learning

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"In its efforts to nurture entrepreneurial STEM teacher leaders, the EnLiST project strives to engage EnLiST Fellows in ever expanding collaborations and learning networks that cut across science content areas and classrooms, as well as school levels and buildings, both within and across the EnLiST partner school districts. This aim is a major focus of the programs Entrepreneurial Leadership Summer Institute, where Fellows are afforded opportunities to organize around, and lead, collaborative and innovative projects to help transform science learning for students across school building and levels.

In this context, Matt Sly, an EnLiST Fellow and high school science teacher at Urbana School District 116, pioneered a project for reciprocal learning between his students and the kindergarten and first grade students at Urbanas Leal and Prairie Elementary Schools. Capitalizing on opportunities made possible through the EnLiST project, Sly teamed up with LaDonna Helm, Sandra Deville and Joyce Raney -- EnLiST Fellows and teachers at the two elementary schools -- to align the timeframe and units during which their students learn about earth and space science. Next, Sly tasked his high school students with helping their elementary counterparts learn about some key concepts in this science domain throughout the span of the shared units."