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The Miami Museum of Science, in collaboration with Florida International University (FIU) and Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS), is implementing a potentially powerful and relatively unexplored model for developing a diverse workforce of educators skilled in the delivery of science instruction. By utilizing the resources and expertise of museum science teacher-educators and scientists, in concert with IHE education faculty, the project represents a paradigm shift in the manner in which student teachers are prepared to teach science at the elementary level.

The overall goal of Elementary STEPS is to design, implement and test an innovative and replicable model program to improve teacher education in science at the elementary level grades, 3-5. By utilizing the resources and expertise of museum science teacher-educators and scientists, in concert with IHE education faculty, the project will strengthen supervising teacher’s science content knowledge and pedagogy while at the same time preparing future teachers to implement standards-based inquiry-oriented science instruction. Specific objectives are:

  1. To conduct scientifically-based research on the impact of the coordinated use of school, university, and science center/museum resources on teacher undergraduate preparation in science education.
  2. To impact postsecondary reform through modification of existing elementary science education course requirements to include science center/museum-based internship experiences.
  3. To identify effective strategies for increasing articulation between IHEs, school districts, and science centers/museums.
  4. To disseminate strategies and evaluation findings to both formal and informal institutions, in a replicable format that will encourage adoption/adaptation of key elements.

    Outcomes include:
  • Enhanced ability of supervising teachers to model hands-on inquiry approaches, and integrate technology into the elementary science classroom curriculum.
  • Increased use of inquiry-based practice and greater science content comfort among participating student teachers.
  • Contribution to the knowledge base through broad dissemination of key elements of the Elementary STEPS model, strengthening the nation’s ability to prepare the next generation of science-savvy elementary teachers.

Miami Museum of Science

Miami Museum of Science


Miami Museum of Science