What a wonderful two weeks of professional development as the IMSTREMS II Summer Institute wrapped up Friday afternoon after a full day of sharing research and lessons. The Research presentations were fabulous, honestly some of the finest summaries of data and research understandings that have been presented to the C3MS/IMSTREMS Summer Institutes. Congratulations to all of the Institute participants!
Special thanks to all of the OU faculty and graduate students who make up the mentor corps. They did an exceptional job providing experiences that bring STEM to life. In IMSTREMS, STEM is not some vague concept. The experiences provided by the mentor corps show the integrated nature of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in all of our research experiences. All of the presentations demonstrated serious number-crunching and technology usage, no matter the research topic or area.
Special thanks to our partners, in particular Haskell Lemon Construction Company. They have been a trusted and dependable partner for several years and because they believe in Oklahoma and value education. The University of Oklahoma is also a strong partner in this program in that in addition to everything else, they have developed the funding support from generous donors such as Conoco/Phillips, who provided support during the Institute and will continue during the followup workshops.
The Lead Scientists provide so much to the project, much of which takes place in the months leading up to the Institute. Dr. Mike Soreghan, Dr. Susan Walden and Helena Lucas, SNOMNH Lead Educator, started recruiting and training the research mentors several months ago as well as securing the facilities and mapping out the logistics with the OU Facilities office (Special thanks to Leslie Flenniken, the Sponsored Programs Coordinator in the OU Office of Research Services). This team works Dr. Stacy Reeder and Dr. Tim Laubach who provide the pedagogy experiences for cohorts 1, and 4. Finally, Jeff Patterson and Bob Melton provide the pedagogy experiences for cohorts 2 and 3.
This is a tremendous effort on the part of a so many people, but the chance to work with 40 of the best Middle School math and science educators in central Oklahoma makes it all so worthwhile and exciting. Speaking for myself, I look forward to these two weeks starting the day the MSP Request for Proposal is released, I am exhausted by the end of the Institute, but I miss it already and can hardly wait until our first follow-up workshop.
The first followup workshop is just around the corner. The dates will be finalized soon, but last year the first workshop coincided with the teacher reporting dates and the second workshop took place during an early open date in the OU and OSU football schedules.