Teachers Learn How to Take Science Projects “From Lab to Lesson Plan”

Allon HochbaumA dozen teachers from middle and high schools around Orange County gathered over the summer at the Samueli School of Engineering for a 10-day intensive professional development STEM workshop. “From Lab to Lesson Plan” focused on methods and instructional approaches that use design/build/test frameworks to teach engineering, math and science content.

Led by engineering faculty, staff and graduate students, the workshop featured labs and demonstrations designed to illustrate core concepts in various STEM areas. Projects included building an index card structure that could hold weight, creating a microbFrom Lab to Lesson Planial fuel cell and learning how to detect cancer cells under the microscope.  The projects addressed the newly released Common Core Standards of Mathematics and Next Generation Standards for Science.

“I found it invaluable to collaborate with teachers from other schools on common lesson plans and ways to incorporate the new common core standards into the lessons,” said Barry Walsh, who teaches physics at Canyon High School in Anaheim. “It was also very interesting to see the cutting-edge research being conducted in the engineering department at UCI as I only deal with high school level science.  I am aware of advances in science, but it is amazing to see it being developed right here in Orange County.”

A joint venture of UC Irvine’s Samueli School and the School of Education, “From Lab to Lesson Plan” was made possible through support from Dean Gregory Washingtonthe Nicholas Endowment.

“This workshop demonstrates the Samueli School’s commitment to improve alignment between secondary schools and higher education and to establish college and career readiness standards for K-12 learning, college admissions and college placement,” says Leyla Riley, director of academic innovation and partnerships. “The goal is to develop a model of effective teacher professional development that can be integrated into pre-service teacher education programs and disseminated through local schools districts.”