The University of Toledo recently celebrated the end of a four-year grant that helped 20 local science teachers become scientists.
In 2008, the University received a $940,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education that was matched by UT to provide scholarships for two cohorts of science teachers to gain additional science expertise through UT’s Inquiry Master’s Program Advancing Content for Teachers, known as IMPACT.
“You don’t learn science by reading about science, you learn science by doing science,” said Dr. Daryl Moorhead, UT professor of ecology and co-principal investigator for the grant. “The idea behind this program was to give them that extra bit of training to look at the world as a scientist and not only as a teacher.”
IMPACT gave these teachers the opportunity to receive a master’s degree in biology in two years, with all costs of the program covered by the grant. Most of the first cohort has graduated, with one student continuing her studies, and the second cohort group is set to graduate in December.
Most of the teachers who participated in IMPACT came from Toledo Public Schools — Scott High School, Waite High School, Toledo Early College High School, Start High School, Phoenix Academy, Bowsher High School and Rogers High School. There also were teachers from seven schools outside the Toledo district.
“The IMPACT program helped science teachers increase both their science content knowledge as well as their ability to teach that knowledge to students,” said Dr. Charlene Czerniak, Distinguished University Professor of Science Education and co-principal investigator of the grant.
Participants in the IMPACT program were recognized for their hard work and dedication to teaching with a reception dinner in September.