STEP-UP (Student & Teacher Enhancement Program Using Palms) was a program of the Technology Trainer Enhancement Center of the Miami Museum of Science to develop and implement training for teachers and underserved youth in the use of handheld computers to enhance classroom and field-based science learning. Participating teachers and students use handheld computers with a variety of probes to conduct science experiments dealing with water quality. Water quality issues are of great importance to South Florida and handheld computer based probeware greatly facilitates the study of this important topic.
The program provides a classroom set of five Palm M130 handheld computers, and related probeware for classroom-based science experiments, to two science teachers at each of four target high schools in the Upward Bound recruitment area, enhancing their ability to integrate technology into their classroom curriculum. The STEP-UP program also provides a Palm M130 handheld computer and related training for up to 100 low-income youth participating in the Museum's Upward Bound Math and Science Center. The Center provides training and support to highly motivated youth who have the potential to excel in the sciences.
STEP-UP is funded by a $125,000 grant from the Annenberg Foundation.
Goal & Objectives
The overall goal of STEP-UP was to enhance science teaching and learning opportunities for high school science teachers and low-income youth participating in the Museum's Upward Bound Program. Specific objectives are:
1. To extend youth program participants access to technology beyond Museum operating hours, enhancing students ability to complete their current academic assignments and attain their post-secondary educational goals.
2. To engage teachers from Upward Bound target schools in Palm-based activities directly related to the science curriculum, strengthening their technology integration skills as well as their relationship to the Museum's Upward Bound program goals.