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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 20 (2015) pp 86-94

Collaboration between Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Local School Districts to Promote K–12 Science Education, North Carolina, USA

Sayo O. Fakayode*,†, Vincent T. Snipes, and Margaret Kanipes

Department of Chemistry, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC, 27411,; Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education, Winston-Salem State University, Winston-Salem, NC, 27110
Received January 12, 2015. Accepted April 13, 2015.

Published: 24 April 2015

Abstract. A continued decline in the global ranking of U.S. students in science, mathematics, and reading is very troubling and is a wakeup call for concerted efforts by all major education stakeholders to strengthen K–12 science education. Herein, the outcome of a collaboration between two Historically Black College Universities (HBCUs), North Carolina A&T State University, Department of Chemistry and Winston-Salem State University, Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education, to offer in-service Professional Development Plan (PDP) workshops for 34 targeted K–12 science and mathematics educators in school districts in the state of North Carolina, USA is reported. A guided-inquiry-laboratory experiment (GILE) involving the determination of iron (Fe) content of selected vitamin food supplements using a UV-visible spectrophotometer was also conducted for the K–12 science educators to provide hands-on experiences for science teachers in the use of modern analytical techniques, instrumentation, and active learning instruction. The Advancing Mathematics and Science Skills (AMASS) and Pre-college SeaPerch Camp programs were also organized for a targeted 103 middle and high school students in order to provide a hands-on learning experience and the use of analytical equipment for physico-chemical analysis of tap and lake water and to build an underwater “Remotely Operated Vehicle” (ROV). Results of the determined Fe (mg) content favorably compared with the actual Fe (mg) in the food supplements as demonstrated by the low relative errors of the sample analysis. Results of the workshop questionnaire analysis indicated that the majority (85%) of the K–12 science educators believed that some aspects of the active learning (AL) pedagogy, demonstrations, and hands-on laboratory experiences gained from the workshop can be adapted, incorporated, and implemented in their K–12 science education curriculums. Also, all of the participants (100%) found these PDP workshops beneficial to their professional development. The experience gained in these workshops also motivated the K–12 science educators to participate in future PDP workshops and to utilize hands-on instruction in their K–12 science and mathematics curriculums. An overwhelming number of the AMASS scholars and Pre-college SeaPerch Campparticipants also found their water analysis and ROV project stimulated their interest in future STEM education. The collaboration between the STEM faculty members from the HBCUs has also led to the provision of other necessary resources and facilities for local school districts in order to promote science education.

Key Words: Of Special Interest; STEM

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