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Science study: Teacher participation in Columbia program improves student achievement in science
Date:10/16/2009

ive summers under the mentorship of Columbia faculty. The program also provides participating teachers with funds to buy science supplies for their classrooms. Their Columbia research experiences encourage them to implement more hands-on, problem-solving exercises in their classrooms to stimulate students' interest and understanding.

As Dr. Silverstein sees it, "This is a simple concept. It uses existing human and physical resources. Its economic benefits exceed its costs. In short, it works."

Passing Regents examinations is a rite of passage for all New York State high school students. To receive a regular high school diploma, students in New York State must pass, with a score of 65 or higher, five Regents Exams: Integrated Algebra, Global History and Geography, U.S. History and Government, Comprehensive English, and one science (Biology [Living Environment], Chemistry, Earth Science, or Physics).

So the link was clear for Dr. Silverstein.

"In starting the program we thought that by studying real-world scientific problems using the tools of contemporary science under the guidance of Columbia faculty, teachers would gain a deeper and more complete understanding of the science they teach and this would translate to greater student achievement," he says.

Nearly 200 members of Columbia University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences have mentored teachers in their laboratories, presented seminars on topics of general scientific interest to participating teachers at the program's Monday professional development sessions, participated in the program's Advisory Committee, and visited teachers classes and schools during the academic year. Thus, although the program originated in the University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, it engages faculty from throughout the University.

"Many members of the Columbia community help the public schools, but there is no program that has had such a profound, long-lasting and measurable
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Contact: Alex Lyda
alyda@columbia.edu
212-305-0820
Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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