|The Impact of Fermilab's K-12 Education Programs|
|When we began offering professional development programs for K-12 teachers at Fermilab, some pundits were not sure that we should. However, we proved their concerns unwarrented! Our programs work because it is not business as usual. We are not a college of education; we are not a physics department. Rather our leading research scientists are conducting science at the frontiers of human understanding. We can bring teachers and students into the scientific enterprise, engaging them in science. Teachers and students see, perhaps for the first time, what the world of science is really like. They like what they see and excited to be part of it!
From the hairstylist who remembers her exciting eighth grade field trip to Fermilab to the family who traveled from California just so their son could come to the Family Open House; From the master teacher who says we have expanded her horizons and made her a more knowledgeable teacher to the preservice teacher whose research paper on Henslow Sparrows is presented at the AAAS poster session, Fermilab education programs have a lasting influence on participants.
Each year our instructors include over 50 educators, and 200 Fermilab staff members volunteer as mentors, guides, experts and more.
"A copy of one of our Eighth Grade science units demonstrates just how deeply we have embedded FermiLab (sic) programs into our curriculum. Administrators, parents and especially students frequently speak of their contacts with FermiLab experiences as among their most favorite and educational. I speak as an educator, parent and taxpayer when I admonish you to continue funding these kinds of programs. The education of my students for the twentyfirst century requires the kind of support that the Fermilab Education Office has to offer."
"The most significant indicator of the benefit our students receive from this partnership is reflected in our school report card. At the fourth grade level our students earned a score of 261 in science compared to 249 for a district average and a 246 average for the state. I am convinced that Fermi's efforts significantly helped our students succeed."
"Participation in the From Beneath the Ashes program has been the most rewarding experience of my 28 years of teaching. I have always been a strong advocate of hands-on/minds-on learning and outdoor education, and it is exciting to work with enthusiatic teachers at Fermilab. I come away from my contacts with Fermilab's programs, revitalized and that excitement spreads to my students, colleagues and throughout my school community."
"My students have benefited greatly from my association with the Lederman Science Education Center. Not only has it expanded my horizons and made me a more knowledgeable teacher, it has helped keep my classes abreast of the ever changing world of science. Field trips, telecommunication options, shared materials and summer/weekend class options help students realize the wonder of science that public schools are simply not equipped to provide."
"I first want to tell you our field trip was amazing!! The doocents were wonderful and knowledgeable throughout the tour. The physicist inspired us all. My students were in awe and can not stop talking about the field trip to their peers and to other teachers. I actually had several students personally come up to me and thank me for the trip. This was a first for me."