Overview of Grades K-8 Resources
The Bechtel-funded K-8 Educational Excellence Initiative has two main objectives:
- To improve elementary teachers’ competence and confidence in mathematics and science instruction through an annual two-week summer workshop on the Colorado School of Mines campus and ongoing in-service programs at their schools.
- To promote elementary students’ interest in science, technology, mathematics and engineering (STEM) through hands-on enrichment programs.
Each summer up to 30 elementary and middle school teachers attend a two-week annual workshop on the Colorado School of Mines (CMS) campus. Faculty from CMS present and explain age-appropriate math and science experiments and activities which the teachers can use in their classrooms to develop interest and excitement for the STEM subjects in their young students. Each year's workshop theme centers around Earth, Energy and Environment.
While in the workshop, the teachers meet and interact with CSM graduate students (fellows) who are assigned to specific schools and teachers for the following school year. Together teachers and fellows develop lesson plans based on the faculty presentations and the State of Colorado math and science standards applicable to the teachers’ grades.The fellows will help implement these lesson plans in their teachers' classrooms on a weekly basis during the school year. Fellows assisting with older students often organise after school science clubs.
Lesson plans cover material such as biology and life science, animal adaptations, coal, oil and gas, energy and all its forms, energy storage and transfer, electricity and magnetism, water conservation and re-use and math games. Solar, wind, geothermal and other forms of renewable energy are emphasized. Students will have fun this year making clouds in a bottle, electric circuits with various materials, paper kites and airplanes, solar ovens and elephant toothpaste. Erupting volcanoes, balloon races, bottle rockets, hungry bugs, flying mushrooms and Lego robots will liven up the science classrooms!