NEWBERRY COUNTY — Newberry County teachers Martha Graham and Candace Gruber attended the Science P.L.U.S. Institute at the Roper Mountain Science Center in Greenville during the summer.
Graham teaches at Newberry High School and Gruber teaches at Prosperity-Rikard Elementary School. Graham completed the Biology 9-12 course at Furman University and Gruber completed the Weather 4 and Astronomy 4 course.
The Institute, 100 percent funded by a S.C. Education Improvement Act (EIA) grant, gives intensive training in science teaching methods and activities to public school science teachers from throughout South Carolina. The Institute emphasizes the Center’s belief that all students deserve a good science education.
Each school district that submitted applicants is represented by at least one teacher chosen to attend the Institute. In the Institute’s 24-year history, over 4,500 public school science teachers have participated in Science P.L.U.S. classes.
The courses for the 2016 Science P.L.U.S. Institute include 18 different one-week classes in weather, earth science, life science, space, and physical science. Classes are built around specific grade levels corresponding to the South Carolina Science Academic Standards for grades 1-12.
Institute courses encourage teachers to incorporate math and language arts skills into their science lessons and to look for opportunities to make science connections when teaching other disciplines.
A major goal of the Science P.L.U.S. Institute is to provide teachers the resources needed to do hands-on science activities with their students. Each participant receives science materials and supplies to duplicate lessons learned. These materials extend the Institute into the state’s classrooms by empowering teachers with new tools for teaching science.
New skills, enhanced content knowledge, and tested ideas shared by other teachers enable Science P.L.U.S. participants to return to their classrooms with confidence and renewed enthusiasm for science instruction.
South Carolina EIA Funds are generated by the fifth penny of sales tax on each dollar. The Science P.L.U.S. Institute is only one of many programs throughout the state supported by these sales tax funds.