The GK-12 program at Coastal Carolina University (CCU) teams GK-12 Fellows from the Coastal Marine and Wetland Studies (CMWS) graduate program with cooperating teachers and undergraduates to build STEM-related partnerships between the university and local schools and to enhance the educational programs and experience for students at the middle school, high school, and university level.

Each year eight CMWS masters students will be selected as GK-12 Fellows. Fellows will be awarded a $30,000 Fellowship and a $10,500 cost-of education allotment, both funded by the National Science Foundation's GK-12 Program. Eligible students include those who have completed two semesters and are in good academic standing with the CMWS Program. Click here to download a copy of CCU's GK-12 proposal.

Specific objectives and expected project outcomes include:

  • The development of teaching, mentoring, and collaborative skills for graduate students who will serve as GK-12 Fellows and team leaders
  • The development, review, and implementation of standards-based, inquiry-based classroom activities for middle and high school students, some based on the graduate fellows’ research and centered around the “coastal marine and wetland studies” theme
  • The provision of research experience and professional development opportunities for middle and high school teachers and to CCU undergraduate science majors.
  • The provision of instructional, curriculum, and mentoring assistance by GK-12 Fellows for participating teachers’ classrooms
  • Enriched science and math learning, increased understanding and interest in marine and wetland processes and issues in the local coastal region, and increased interest in STEM disciplines and careers by middle and high school students

Fellows' Responsibilities

  • Fellows will attend a two week science education workshop during Summer 2011.
  • Fellows will work with GK-12 science teachers to plan, develop and deliver inquiry-based lesson plans in the GK-12 classroom. Some lesson plans will be based on the Fellow's thesis research. Lesson plans will also be delivered in CCU’s Univ. 110 program.
  • Fellows will serve as a scientific resource and classroom instructional assistant for their cooperating teacher. Fellows are expected to spend 15 hours a week on GK-12 educational activities, including 10 hours a week in the GK-12 classroom.
  • Fellows will participate in regular meetings with other Fellows and their Fellow Advisor.
  • Fellows will give a presentation and/or poster session on their GK-12 experience to be presented at CCU and the NSF GK-12 Meeting in February/March of 2012.

GK-12 Benefits for Teachers

There are two levels of participation teachers may choose. Option 1 is academic year participation. Option 2 includes participation in the Fellows summer research project the summer before the academic year. Teachers will be active 120 hours in the summer and will learn how field research is conducted and how data are analyzed. As compensation for their summer research teachers earn three graduate course credits for a Directed Research for Teachers course and earn an extra $1,500 stipend. Other benefits for both options include:

  • $4,500 NSF-funded stipend
  • $2,000 for class materials (permanent or expendable)
  • GK-12 Fellows will serve as a scientific resource and classroom instructional assistant in the appropriate classrooms of their cooperating teacher.
  • Development of collegial relationships with university science faculty and graduate students
  • Teachers will possess inquiry-based lesson plans for future years.
  • Teachers will learn real-world applications of science to the local coastal environment and the role scientists play in societal decisions.
  • Opportunities to attended annual GK-12 Meeting in Washington, D.C. with travel fully funded by NSF

GK-12 Responsibilities for Teachers

  • Attend a summer workshop with the Fellows. Teachers will learn about the scientist’s research project, and begin curriculum planning.
  • Introduce your Fellow to your students at the beginning of the year and facilitate inclusion of the Fellow into the classroom
  • Provide Fellow with opportunities to enhance his or her teaching skills (co-teaching, mentoring students, leading field trips, volunteering for school science activities)
  • Provide Fellow with feedback on his or her teaching and mentoring
  • Notify Fellow about upcoming curriculum so they can plan inquiry based learning activities
  • Co-present, with the Fellow, a completed lesson plan at local science workshops such as (SC)2

CCU Organizers

Principal Investigator

  • Craig Gilman, Associate Professor, Dept. of Marine Science, 843-349-2228, gilman@coastal.edu

Fellows Advisors

  • Rob Young, Professor, Dept. of Marine Science, ryoung@coastal.edu
  • Kevin Godwin, Associate Professor, Dept. of Biology, ksgodwin@coastal.edu
  • Juli Harding, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Marine Science, jharding@coastal.edu

Program Assessment

  • Sharon Gilman, Associate Professor and Chair, Dept. of Biology, sgilman@coastal.edu
  • Austin Hitt, Assistant Professor, College of Education, amhitt@coastal.edu

School District Liaison

  • Karen Fuss, Environmental Educator, Center for Marine & Wetland Studies, kfuss@coastal.edu

Project Evaluation

  • Jeff Marshall, Associate Professor of Science Education, Clemson University, MARSHA9@clemson.edu

GK-12 Workshop Materials

Overview of CCU's GK-12 Program A description of the program participant's responsibilities and benefits.

Teaching Science An introduction to science education.

Inquiry based science An introduction to teaching inquiry based science in the classroom.

Assessment A summary of assessment methods.

February 2011 Workshop Powerpoints.

Lesson Plan Rubric A rubric used to evaluate lesson plans.

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