CA-STEM Distance Learning Initiatives
Meeker Elementary School School Distance Learning Initiative
For the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school years, Colorado School of Mines (CSM) took its goal of improving grade K-5 instruction in mathematics and science to Meeker School District Re-1 in western Colorado.. The objective of this collaboration was to transfer the research and the curriculum that was being developed as part of the Bechtel K-5 Educational Excellence Initiative for use at Meeker Elementary School (MES). A major hindrance to this effort was the 250 mile distance from MES to CSM, a portion of which is on rural roads and over the Rocky Mountains. This factor prevented regular visits and in-person meetings between MES and CSM faculty, which is possible with CSM's local partner elementary schools. The necessary funding to facilitate the attendance of MES teachers at the summer workshops on the CSM campus, to purchase the necessary equipment to support electronic site visits to MES by our graduate students and faculty, and to provide the electronic instructional support to MES by one of our graduate students over two academic years was generously provided by ExxonMobil.
Teaching Physics to Students with Dyslexia
In 2013, the CSM Renewable Energy Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (REMRSEC), in collaboration with the Trefny Institute, was awarded $10,000 by the American Physics Society to develop and deliver instructional modules in physics for students in grades K-6. The modules were originally developed and tested in the summer of 2012 on forty students who were diagnosed with dyslexia and who attended the five-week Rocky Mountain Camp for Dyslexic Kids in Indian Hills, CO.
Each morning during the summer camp, the first four hours of camp are dedicated to academic instruction. The students take part in one-on-one tutoring, reading aloud in small groups, writing, keyboarding, and a study session. Instructional units in science and engineering are used which are fun, interactive and rewarding to complete. They also are designed to capitalize on what many dyslexic students do well: reason in three dimensions. The goal of this intervention is to provide dyslexic students an opportunity to excel in science and engineering while receiving the appropriate remediation in literacy.