Indiana science initiative comes to Smith-Green

The project is part of the Indiana Science Initiative. All science classes K-8 at Smith-Green are participating in this pilot phase of the program. The initiative is designed to teach students critical inquiry skills through hands-on participation in accordance with the Indiana Standards for Science Education.

With a 1.5 million dollar grant commitment from Eli Lilly, schools were given the opportunity to participate last spring. For a school to be considered for the pilot, all grades and all students in the school must participate. At a minimum, 80 percent of the teachers instructing science were required to attend five days of professional development in July 2010. Building principals also attended two days of administrator training and participated with their teachers for three days during the summer and attended administrator specific training during the school year. Smith-Green made the commitment and students in grades K-8 will be instructed during the 2010-11 school year in a minimum two inquiry-based units. This is a wonderful opportunity for our students as only 234 schools out of approximately 1400 are involved in this pilot across the state.

Science instruction in the elementary science will not look much different than it has for the past twelve years with the exception of one change. Students will be using science notebooks to record all of their information as part of the initiative which has a strong science literacy piece. Thanks to the CES PTO for purchasing a composition book for all students in grades 1-5 to use for science notebooking.

As this is the adoption year for science, Smith-Green hopes  that our participation in this program will assist us in making an informed choice when choosing science materials that will be used for the next six years of instruction.

The goal of the program is to increase science literacy and students’ interest and participation in science programs while in school. Eli Lilly hopes to see more Hoosier students choose careers that are science based and that they will stay in the state post-graduation. Smith-Green Community Schools sees this as an opportunity to promote student participation in the sciences grades K-12 and beyond. If you would like to learn more about the Indiana Science Initiative and SGCS participation, you may go to: www.indianascience.org or contact any of the science teachers in grades K-8.

Sincerely,

Liz Schemm,

CES Science Resource Teacher

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