Busy Summer 2004

As part of the initial phase of the Puerto Rico Math and Science Partnership (PRMSP), more than 1,300 K-12th grade science and mathematics teachers from 161 public schools all over the Island, participated in a two-week professional development workshop.  Teams of exemplary teachers and university professors at each of the four PRMSP Zones (Río Piedras, Cayey, Humacao, and Mayagüez offered the workshops after participating themselves in the Training the Trainers program during the previous two months.  The PRMSP professional development model centers on promoting depth of understanding of content knowledge by modeling the best active-learning strategies and continuous assessment methods.  Teachers are engaged in inquiry activities in which they reflect on the learning process, and discuss ways in which the activities can be enhanced, adapted or expanded.  The teachers recommendations on the improvement of activities are being incorporated into the educational materials used to later be posted on the PRMSP webpage. The accompanying photos give a good picture of the activity that went on this summer at the four “corners” of Puerto Rico.  These participants constitute the first cohort of three which will be inducted into the science and mathematics educational enhancement initiative, sponsored by the National Science Foundation over five years.

Starting in Au gust 2004, the participants of the PRMSP workshops will begin to implement the high quality, challenging curricular materials in their classrooms to enhance math and science learning among all their students. The approach to the implementation of the enhanced curriculum is to develop schools as learning communities in which all participants collaborate in transformation of the teaching and learning process. During the school year, participants will be provided with ongoing support by the PRMSP regional teams.  A group of 30 schools that will serve as Regional Math and Science Resource Centers for participating schools in the particular geographic regions has been selected and is being prepared during the summer to begin operations in August 2004.

    Summer 2004 also has been busy for over one-hundred K-12 students, mostly from low income families, through the five Summer Camps sponsored by PRMSP at the different partner sites:

  • A Nanotechnology Research Camp is cosponsored by the Río Piedras Zone through the UPRRP Campus Chemistry Department where 9 students and their teachers are working in a research laboratory for 8 weeks (from June 2 to July 28).

  • The Río Piedras Zone is also sponsoring the camp held on July 6-13 at Inter American University-Bayamón entitled: Water Quality Assessment and Ecosystem Health for junior and senior students.

  • The Cayey Zone is sponsoring two Summer Camps, one held on July 13-17 at Hacienda Buena Vista in Ponce by the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico entitled: Science and Natural History at Hacienda Buena Vista for six grade students

  • The second camp in the Cayey Zone was held from June 7-18 at the Pontifical Catholic University entitled: Strengthening Knowledge and Skills in Science, Mathematics and oral communication through Environmental Science Experiences for junior students.

  • The Humacao Zone is sponsoring a camp from June 28 to July 2 at La Cabezas de San Juan Natural Reserve by the Conservation Trust of PR entitled: Math and Sciences in Ecology for six graders.