IPY STEM Polar Connections


IPY STEM Polar Connections
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Summer 2010 Institute
July 12-16, 2010
A unique opportunity for middle and high school STEM teachers.

The 4th International Polar Year (IPY) ran from March 2007 to March 2009, and focused international scientific and educational attention on the Earth's Polar Regions.  Funded by NSF and by UMass Amherst, IPY STEM Polar Connections is designed to promote the teaching of science concepts and processes related to the Polar Regions and to emphasize connections to State and National Science Standards for the middle and high school. It includes a one-week summer institute and academic year online discussion forums, and features a variety of proven techniques for effective teaching, including inquiry-based teaching, cooperative learning, and methods for formative assessment of student learning.  Participants will be expected to use selected materials in their classrooms and also to aid in the dissemination program.

Features of the program include:
- July 12-16, 2010 at UMass Amherst plus academic year online
- Sponsored by the STEM Education Institute and the Climate System
        Research Center
- Middle and High School Science, Math, and Technology Teachers
- Housing (air conditioned single dorm rooms, 10 minutes away), meals,
        and travel costs for teachers outside the commuting area
- $75/day stipends ($375 total)
- Funds to attend conferences for dissemination
- 3 graduate credits available at reduced cost; free PDP's
        (professional development points)
- Ongoing partnerships with UMass faculty

The summer institute will focus on current science research in the polar regions, and making connections to the science curriculum within participating teachers' regions. It will address the rapid changes occurring in the physical environment, the corresponding impact on the biosphere, and the history and politics of the polar regions. During the institute, participants will preview the curriculum units provided and draft a plan for incorporating materials into their classroom instruction and commit to dissemination within their district and at least one regional venue. They will complete their plans in the fall, using the online discussion forums to facilitate collaborative efforts among participants and UMass faculty.

Three graduate credits will be available for the institute and curriculum unit; the cost will be $300 plus a $45 registration fee.  PDP's will be available at no cost for those who do not want graduate credits. The stipend for the summer workshop is $375. Housing and meals will be provided for those who live outside the commuting area, along with travel costs for attending the workshop.  Participants will receive various materials plus a materials budget as well as funds to support the dissemination efforts.

Application process: Teachers should prepare a narrative statement of how they plan to use the information from this institute within their classroom and their plans to disseminate the study of Polar Regions within their school, school district and a wider region within their geographic area.
Include a specific regional venue that you plan to attend for dissemination of the information gained during the institute. You must also include a recent resume and a letter of support from your school principal or superintendent. The application package can be submitted by email, fax, or US mail. Applications are due April 1, 2010. Late applications will be accepted on a space-available basis.

More information and application forms:    


voice: 413-545-0734, fax: 413-545-3697