PUBLISHED: 4:31 PM on Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Alaskan teachers complete science training in Maryland
Eighteen Alaskans, including 15 science teachers, attended training this summer at the CASE Institute in McHenry, MD, to learn new skills to educate students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Four Juneau teachers attended along with 3 staff from the Juneau Economic Development Council.

The five one-week sessions began on June 17 and concluded on July 26. From 12 states, a total of 124 teachers and 41 others attended these classes that were sponsored by the US Department of Defense and were hosted by the Center for the Advancement of STEM Education (CASE), located at Garrett Community College.

Courtesy photo
  Mary Hakala, left, Juneau, and Tracy Hodge, right, Maryland, prepare a block of concrete for its strength test at Garrett College. The class prepared various mixtures of sand, gravel, cement and water and then ran tests the following day. These experiments will be carried out in classrooms in a dozen states this coming school year, including Alaska. Also pictured are Ken Harasty, (Penn.), Myra Crews (Fla.), Hadley Pridgen (Fla.), and Fran Johnson, Wright Patterson Air Force Base (Ohio).
"A solid base of scientific, or content knowledge, coupled with creativity and drive is the stuff of innovation," said Mary Hakala, K-12 education coordinator for SpringBoard, a program of JEDC.

"We need to inspire and ground more Alaska students in the sciences and technical skills of the 21st century, giving them the capacity to be the scientists, engineers and inventors of tomorrow. There is a growing need for young persons to enter scientific careers, in government and industry. This summer's training was an exciting opportunity for us."

Hakala arranged for the Alaskan teachers to attend the training in Maryland that focuses on Materials World Modules - a hands-on, inquiry-based method of teaching, developed by Northwestern University professors using commonly found materials. This was the second year these workshops have been offered. Teachers were offered training in eight science modules: Concrete, Composites, Smart Sensors, Biosensors, Polymers, Food Packaging and Sports Materials.

Juneau teachers attending included Kathleen Galau (Floyd Dryden), Mary Hausler (Dzantki'Heeni), Sarah Marino (Yaakoosge Daakahidi) and Sandra Pahlke (Floyd Dryden).