Next week Teton Science Schools and the University of Wyoming’s Science and Math Teaching Center are collaborating to kick off the statewide, year-long Professional Development program, Place Learning And Civic Engagement [PLACE]: Connecting elementary science to students’ home places. The focus of the program will be elementary school science and making the science curriculum more connected to the places that the teachers and elementary age children call home. Using place-based education methods, the PLACE program will focus on science content - Watersheds and hydrology - as well as science as inquiry. Inquiry will be addressed as pedagogy in teaching science as well as content for teachers and students to learn and to do. The program is based on the model of learning, using, and sharing in a supportive environment. Teachers will learn about place-based education, use the methods in teaching, and share with other teachers the successes and challenges of adopting a new model.

The first week of the PLACE program will happen at the Kelly Campus of Teton Science Schools. Subsequent on-site workshops will happen in Cheyenne and Casper, WY to help the teachers transfer their learning to their home communities. In the fall of 2011, all teachers will participate in Project Wet training, as well as have a team of Teton Science Schools’ instructors lead an outreach program in their school. The year-long progression will conclude during the spring 2012, when all teachers re-convene together in Casper to share the place-based projects that they have implemented and celebrate their successes.