On June 24th, Science in Society kicked off another summer of Science Club Summer Camp! The program is an intensive professional learning camp for 3rd grade teachers from Chicago Public Schools to enrich and deepen their classroom practice.
This summer is the 4th year of the program, with two new cohorts of educators focusing on student-led inquiry, classroom discourse, and other innovative teaching practices. The three-week program has two primary components: first, teachers spend time with our master educators on the Northwestern campus learning about the New Generation Science Standards (NGSS) strategies for implementing them in the classroom. Then, through our long-term partnership with, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago (BGCC), teachers participate in a practicum, piloting their new teaching and learning strategies and receiving direct coaching and support from our team.
At the Uptown and Little Village locations of the Boys and Girls clubs, teachers work with elementary school students, Science and Society staff, and other CPS teachers to improve their knowledge about innovative science learning. The curricula for this summer are Forces and Interaction and Environments and Survival which help them develop skills in facilitating student learning; activities include using magnets to create levitating trains and exploring why certain snails survive in certain climates. Each three-week program ends with a visit to the Museum of Science and Industry to explore ways to incorporate field trips into the year’s curriculum.
After each cohort completes their summer experience, Science Club Summer Camp extends throughout the school year. Science in Society teacher leaders observe classroom teaching and provide 1-on-1 coaching, and they lead professional learning community meetings to build communities of support and practice for the integration of NGSS methods in their classrooms. Rigorous evaluation data gathered from each cohort helps our team understand how this practicum-based approach impacts science teaching and learning at the elementary school level. Science Club Summer Camp is supported by a five-year, $1.2 million Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Institutes of Health. At the end of the upcoming school year, 64 teachers will have participated in the program, bringing innovative teaching strategies to the thousands of youth they serve each year.
Learn more about Science Club Summer Camp here.