Science Club Summer Camp, or SC2, is a practicum-based professional development program for Chicago Public School (CPS) teachers. The roll-out of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in Chicago during 2016 reframes the K-12 science curriculum with a stronger focus on science skills and inquiry and student-led iterative processes.
SC2's professional development program has been created in partnership with CPS, CPS master teachers and Northwestern scientists and science educators, built to support elementary school teachers through this paradigm shift in science teaching and science learning. SC2's participating teachers spend one week on the Northwestern University campus learning about the nature of science and the new science standards. Teachers then spend two weeks practicing teaching and implementing NGSS curriculum with youth at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago summer camp with intensive support from SiS staff and CPS master teachers.
This unique practicum model provides teachers with the opportunity to trial various teaching methods and projects with an active cohort of age-appropriate learners and creates a valuable opportunity to combat 'summer slide', providing traditionally underserved urban students with fun, interactive learning opportunities over summer break.
Science Club Summer Camp includes hands-on exploratory opportunities and reflective sessions in which teacher's feedback new learning and discuss obstacles and best practices with peers and CPS master teachers. Both during the summer sessions and throughout the following school year participating teachers will receive ongoing support from CPS master teachers and Northwestern scientists. In total, teachers gain 60 hours of professional development.
This program launched in summer 2016 to meet the new NGSS curriculum head-on. It is funded by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Institute for Health. SC2 builds off of the success of the Science Club program, which received initial funding from the NIH SEPA in October 2009. In collaboration with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools, Science Club promotes hands-on, inquiry-based STEM education for underserved middle school youth and long-term youth mentoring by Northwestern scientist volunteers.