College of Coastal Georgia News
Republished with the permission of The Brunswick News
By Lauren McDonald
Some lucky Glynn County teachers have gone back to school for the past two weeks.
Nearly 25 elementary school teachers from Glynn County Schools signed on to participate in science education workshops at College of Coastal Georgia, funded by the Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) grant program.
The workshop began May 11 and ends today.
[The College's] instructors Dave Stasek, an associate professor of biology, and Liz Brabson, a lecturer of geology, taught the workshop this year.
"The idea is that we look at the Georgia Performance Standards that they teach, and we use that as a go-by for the topical material that we're adding. That's what I did," Brabson said. "It's kind of a workshop format, so it's about half seminar and then half hands-on (activities)."
The MSP program offers grants that aim to provide teachers with additional education through partnerships between state education agencies, institutions of higher education, high-need local education agencies and schools to increase the academic achievement of students in mathematics and science.
The teachers spent one week taking a biology class, and a second week studying Earth science.
The teachers split into two groups. One group spent the first week with Stasek and the other with Brabson. This week, the groups switched classes.
Amanda Patrick, a fifth grade special education teacher at Burroughs-Molette Elementary, took biology the first week. She said the course covered the basics, including lessons on cells, meiosis, mitosis, chromosomes and evolution.
"It was a great refresher, because it's been a while since I've been in college and had those science classes," Patrick said.
Brabson said she enjoys teaching the teachers, whose passion for learning was evident.
"The teachers, they're like 'oooh,' 'aaah' — they're so receptive to learning," she said. "I just really like working with the teachers."
The ultimate beneficiaries of the effort will be the students, she said.
"The point is to get the teachers' understanding elevated, which ultimately helps them teach the kids," Brabson said.
Stasek hopes to someday see some of these teachers' students in his own college science courses.
"It helps the teachers ... then they can help their students and they can show these concepts to their students and get their students excited about science," Stasek said. "That's the main thing, is getting the students excited about it, because then hopefully when it comes time for them to go to college, maybe they'll want to enter a STEM field.