September 22, 2016
Denise Aaron, Labay Middle School eighth-grade science teacher, was one of five CFISD educators selected to attend the Science Teaching Equity Program (STEP) at the University of Houston this summer.
Sept. 22, 2016—Five CFISD middle school educators expanded their personal growth through the Science Teaching Equity Program (STEP) at the University of Houston this summer.
The five science teachers who completed 40 hours of science professional development are:
From left, Campbell Middle School science instructors David Pollock, Boni Hamilton David and Joel Wilkerson pose by the Cougar statue at the University of Houston’s STEP summer program.
Directed by Dr. Wallace Dominy of the University of Houston, STEP provides K-12 science teacher professional development in science content, instructional strategies, technology and mentoring. Training is provided by UH faculty, staff and master teachers during summer institutes and academic year sessions on UH and K12 campuses.
Consisting of two full weeks of summer sessions, the first week was dedicated to Earth science and the second week was dedicated to space science. STEP drew 180 applicants from the greater Houston area before accepting 53 fourth- through eighth-grade instructors.
Participating educators were also awarded materials and supplies for their classrooms.
Erik Stegemann, sixth- and eighth-grade science teacher at Bleyl Middle School, was one of five CFISD science teachers who completed 40 hours of science professional development through the University of Houston STEP program.
Although the summer portion of the program is complete, participants are asked to attend additional evening or weekend sessions, mentor fellow science teachers at their school and turn in assignments pertaining to teaching strategies.
“There is so much to the program that I learned about how to teach science and how to use inquiry based learning,” Aaron said. “I really have enjoyed the program.”
Hamilton David said she is looking forward to sharing lessons and activities from the STEP program with Campbell students.
“The STEP program has helped me grow as a teacher in so many ways,” she said. “It has increased the breadth and depth of my science knowledge while adding specific targeted lessons to our eighth-grade repertoire.”
Stegemann said the STEP experience opened his eyes to new ways of teaching the subject material required in his grade levels.
“I was able to use the information from this summer’s program in our first eighth-grade unit,” Stegemann said. “During our cosmos unit about space, we used QR codes as an extension activity. Students also used technology exploring Google Maps to show relative distance of units in the universe by relating them to objects of known distance here in Houston.”