Ideas and Innovations: Teaching, Schools, Partnerships

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Lyndhurst Fellowships Program, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This partnership between a private foundation and a college, begun last year, allows students to earn a master of arts degree in teaching (mat) after only 12 months of study and with only half the usual number of methodology courses.

Funded by the Lyndhurst Foundation of Chattanooga, Tenn., the program is based on the premise that many able students avoid a teaching career because they do not wish to take the methodology courses that are required for certification. Graduates in mathematics, the physical sciences, the biological sciences, and English participate in the program.

The Lyndhurst students receive a $6,000 stipend and waivers of tuition and other fees. They make a commitment to teach in a North Carolina or Tennessee public school, preferably in a rural school, for three years after receiving their certificate. This year, there were 70 applicants for the 24 fellowships, with 18 of those granted to science and math majors. The program costs about $200,000 per year.

Contact: William W. Smith, Professor of Mathematics, University of North Carolina, Bynum Hall 008 A, Chapel Hill, N.C. 27514; (919) 962-1050.

Midcareer Math and Science Program, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

Sponsored by Harvard's Graduate School of Education, this effort is aimed at technically-oriented professionals in their 40's and 50's who have strong mathematics or science backgrounds.

Starting in September, the one-year program will offer a degree and a teaching certificate. To be limited to about eight applicants the first year (25 eventually), the career-switch experiment will cost participants $8,000.

Sponsors of the program believe an untapped pool of potential teachers exists in high-technology areas such as Boston, among older employees with financial security and grown children. So far, 35 have applied for the program. More than half have doctoral degrees, a staff member said, and a substantial number are career women in their late 30's.

Contact: Katherine Merseth, Special Assistant to the Dean, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, Mass. 02138 (617) 495-3498.

Math-Science-Technology Project, Amherst, Mass.

Educators and business officials in the greater Boston area have put together a 14-month internship plan for graduates in mathematics and the physical sciences that will offer work experience in a major computer company, a master's degree in education, and a teaching certificate--and pay $14,000 for the work.

The idea for the new program, which began last month, grew out of a desire among educators to bring fresh talent into an aging teaching force. Participants in the effort include the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the Digital Equipment Corporation, and several dozen school districts in the greater Boston area.

The 21 interns chosen will teach in local schools for one semester and work at the computer firm for the other semester. During the two summers encompassed by the program, the interns will complete the course work and practice teaching required for a master's degree and provisional teaching certificate, supervised by the university. Participants are asked to make a commitment, which is nonbinding, to teach for three years in an area school.

The program is open to students from all parts of the country. This year, 21 out of 81 applicants were accepted.

The program's costs will be split by Digital and the school districts. Digital also has donated 24 personal computers to the university for the interns to use while they are in the program.

Contact: Klaus Schultz, Professor of Science Education, School of Education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass. 01003; (413) 545-0010.

Incentive-Pay Plan, Dade County, Fla.

The Dade County Public Schools and the local American Federation of Teachers bargaining unit agreed last year on an incentive-pay plan for teachers in fields where shortages exist. The plan is believed to be the only one of its kind in a state with mandated collective bargaining.

Under the arrangement, full-time teachers with bachelor's degrees in selected shortage fields may be hired directly onto the fourth step of the pay scale instead of starting at the first step. When such a teacher is hired, all other teachers in that subject area below step four also automatically move up to the fourth step. The new plan provides about $600 more in starting pay, and after the third year of teaching would mean about $1,000 more.

The plan, which becomes effective for the first time this fall, calls for slightly longer days and summer-session teaching. School and union representatives will meet to determine which areas have critical shortages.

Contact: Frank R. Petruzielo, Director of Legislative and Labor Relations, Dade County Public Schools, 1410 N. East 2nd Ave., Miami, Fla. 33132; (305) 350-3714.

Iowa Physics Project

Educators in Iowa have devised a low-cost method of upgrading physics teaching in small rural schools.

The project, begun last year with a budget of $6,000, consists principally of bi-monthly telephone conference calls between five isolated rural high-school teachers and a university physics professor. Its main objectives are to help the teachers more thoroughly grasp the complex materials they are teaching and to learn new experiments that may vitalize their lessons.

During the hour-long conference calls, each teacher is equipped with a speaker box in his classroom so that he can have his hands free to try out pieces of equipment and projects being described by the professor.

This spring, the Iowa legislature authorized $40,000 to expand the project to include physics teachers in a total of 45 rural schools. Part of the new allocation will be used to buy computer software for use in physics classes.

Contact: Roy Unruh, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614; (319) 273-2380.


Summatech, Minneapolis, Minn.

In 1981, when the Minneapolis Public Schools began to work on a five-year development plan, one of the corporations that helped fund that effort was Honeywell Inc. The five-year plan included a proposal for a magnet school at North Community High School designed for students interested in careers in mathematics and science.

Although Honeywell, which is based in the city, had been involved in the schools for about 10 years, its executives were interested in building an even closer relationship. During the 1981-82 school year, school administrators and Honeywell executives formulated the goals and program design for the proposed magnet school; "Summatech" opened in September 1982 with 120 9th and 10th graders. Older high-school students will be added later.

Honeywell contributed $40,000 at the start of the project, part of which is being used to pay half the salary of a program coordinator for two years; donated the services of 42 scientists from the corporation's technical center; designed, printed, and distributed a newsletter; provided Summatech faculty members with access to computer-literacy courses; and trained science teachers during the summer.

Contact: Rita G. Kaplan, Corporate and Community Responsibilities Department, Honeywell Inc., Honeywell Plaza, Minneapolis, Minn. 55408; (612) 870-6836.

Career Outreach, Toledo, Ohio

Begun in 1981, this experiment attempts to bridge the gap between school and work for about 450 students at Jesup W. Scott High School in Toledo. The students are provided with computer-based mathematics and science instruction for one hour each day in addition to other courses; they also work at part-time jobs for four hours each day while carrying their normal course load. During the summer, the students--9th and 10th graders--work full time for firms in the Toledo area.

The program was founded by the chairman of the Control Data Corporation, who said he believed that some students need an incentive to stay in school and that a job can offer that incentive. The company proposed the program to school officials and agreed to contribute computer equipment and its own plato-system software. In addition, the corporation made its own computer operations and specialists available to students in the program, which is supervised by the school's principal.

The experiment is also being supported by government community-development and job-training funds. The students' computer-based mathematics and science instruction was developed by area colleges and universities.

The program is now being being expanded to include high schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Contact: Susan Bush, Publicist, Career Outreach, Control Data Corporation, P.O. Box 0, Minneapolis, Minn. 55440; (612) 853-6605.

Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering, Inc.

In 1974, a group of of Texas business executives launched this program to do something about the disproportionately small number of minority students in engineering. After collecting contributions from Texas-based corporations, the executives organized business-and-industry "alliances" in 15 metropolitan areas throughout the state to work with the schools to establish enrichment programs for minority students with strong aptitudes in mathematics and science.

Today, the program's annual operating budget is about $120,000, funded completely by the participating corporations.

With the objective of motivating and preparing students to attend college, about 70 mathematicians and scientists from business and industry serve as tutors and role models, lecturing and conducting tours for students. In the past six years, about 5,000 to 6,000 students have been involved in the program.

Originally aimed at high-school students, it has now expanded to include those in junior high school. The program's sponsors note that there has been an 80-percent increase in minority-student enrollment in the 14 state engineering colleges in the last five years.

Contact: John S. Robottom, College of Engineering, University of Texas, P.O. Box 19019, UT-A Station, Arlington, Tex. 76019; (817) 273-2571.

Engineering and Science Careers Program, Dayton, Ohio

An effort of the Engineers Club of Dayton Foundation, this program began in the summer of 1981 with 22 high-school students who were chosen because of their academic ability and interest in engineering, mathematics, science, and computers. The following year, 24 high-school students were added to the program.

During the summer, the students are employed at local engineering firms and are paid the minimum wage. During their senior year, they are given tours of about 11 different engineering firms to expose them to career opportunities in engineering.

Because the program is considered a first step in providing employees for firms in a research park planned for the Dayton area, the club plans to extend the program to junior high schools.

During the coming school year, the foundation plans to start a computer program for students in junior and senior high schools using microcomputers donated by the Dayton-based ncr Corporation. This year, the total cost of the programs is about $23,700; the sum was raised through contributions from the foundation, local corporations, and other individuals.

Contact: Dianne Harper, Dayton Power and Light Co., Courthouse Plaza Southwest, P.O. Box 1247, Dayton, Ohio 45401; (513) 224-5928.

Orbit '81, Camden, N.J.

Five years ago, the principal of Camden High School and an executive of rca Corporation conceived this program to interest minority students in science.

The corporation made an initial contribution of $10,000--the amount needed to guarantee a place for a student-built experiment on one of the space shuttles then being built by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The concept of working on the project was approved by the district's school board for students from both Camden and Woodrow Wilson High Schools.

Last month, after four years of preparation, the students' experiment--a study of the effects of prolonged weightlessness on an ant colony--was launched aboard the Challenger Space Shuttle.

For reasons as yet unknown, the ants died in space, and the students are planning a postmortem investigation in an attempt to determine the cause of death.

As a result of the project, the number of physics classes has doubled and the number of college-bound students has increased in both schools, officials said. Of the 16 students closely involved in the space project, 14 are attending college and 12 of the 14 are studying engineering or science.

The Camden Chamber of Commerce donated money for laboratory equipment for the two schools, and other businesses also supported the project. Scientists from rca served as consultants and instructed students in the applications of computers.

About 200 students in all contributed to various aspects of the ant-colony project last year.

Contact: David Shore, Division Vice President for Business Development, rca Corporation, 1901 N. Moore Street, Rosslyn, Va. 22209; (703) 558-4223.

The New Jersey Business/Industry Science-Education Consortium

This consortium was formed by a high-school physics teacher, who now serves as its director. The project, which maintains an office at the Stevens Institute of Technology, organizes inservice programs for science and mathematics teachers as well as projects that help students better understand science and mathematics, the opportunities for careers in these fields, and the relationship between science, technology, and society.

The consortium comprises representatives from 16 corporations (including Bell Laboratories, Celanese Research, Ciba-Geigy, Exxon Research and Engineering, the Exxon Company USA, Hoffman-La Roche, and Sandoz) and officials of the New Jersey School Boards Association, the state departments of education and higher education, and state professional groups (including mathematics and science teachers).

The participating corporations fund projects and provide expertise. Thus far, they have donated about $40,000; school systems that request grants also provide funding.

Last year, the consortium provided $20,000 to Georgian Court College to upgrade the skills of middle-school science teachers. It also organized a two-day convocation on issues surrounding waterfront development for 150 Hoboken students and a seminar for teachers led by industry engineers and researchers at Princeton University.

Contact: Gertrude M. Clark, New Jersey Business/Industry Science-Education Consortium, Educational Development Office, Stevens Institute of Technology, Castle Point, Hoboken, N.J. 07030; (201) 420-5229.


Institute of Computer Technology, Sunnyvale, Calif.

This high-technology school, organized by three school districts in the Silicon Valley area of California, opened in January. It serves adults and students from Los Gatos Joint Union High School District, Freemont Union High School District, and Sunnyvale School District.

Funded by the state and area industries, the institute includes morning and evening classes in such subjects as computer literacy, computer languages, data-entry, computerized accounting, and technical writing. It also conducts inservice training programs for teachers.

In 1982-83, the institute received $100,000 from the state, and industries provided approximately $400,000 worth of hardware, software, and personnel. Apple Computer Inc., Hewlett-Packard, Amdek, and International Business Machines Corporation have participated so far, and other companies are considering offering their support. A co-director of the institute is an employee of ibm who was granted special leave.

Contact: Renato C. Nicolai, Co-director, Institute of Computer Technology, 1196 Lime Drive, Sunnyvale, Calif. 94087; (408) 733-0916.

Louisiana School for Mathematics, Science, and the Arts

This newly established two-year state boarding school, located on a college campus, provides instruction for exceptional students in the arts as well as in mathematics and science.

This month, the admissions committee at the school is selecting its first class of 200 high-school juniors. Students are chosen on the basis of their scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test and other tests, general academic performance, school-community involvement, and interviews. Officials plan to enroll another class of 200 juniors next year and to raise enrollment to 700 students by 1986.

The school's location, on the campus of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, enables students to use the university's facilities and library and to live in a previously unused dormitory. The state is renovating a special building for the school. Operating costs will be approximately $1.6 million this year; capital outlay for the school is approximately $10 million.

Contact: Robert Alost, Director, Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts, 715 College Avenue, Natchitoches, La. 71457; (318) 357-0606.

The Clarkson School, Potsdam, N.Y.

Founded in 1978 by Clarkson College and located on the college campus, the Clarkson School provides a "bridging year" for students who have completed their junior year of high school; are specially talented in mathematics, science, or engineering; and are capable of doing college-level work.

Under the program, students fulfill the requirements for a high-school diploma and complete their freshman year of college at the same time.

About 90 percent of applicants for the program score in the top 10 percent on standardized tests and are in the top 10 percent of their classes. This fall, enrollment will be limited to 42 students.

The cost is the same as that for the freshman year at Clarkson College--about $11,500 next fall. Participants are eligible for financial aid and scholarships, and tuition and application-fee waivers are available for those from low-income families.

The school has a special residential staff and its own administration. Students take courses with freshmen and upperclassmen at the college, although some professors also offer special courses for them.

Contact: Gary F. Kelly, Headmaster, The Clarkson School, Potsdam, N.Y. 13676; (315) 268-4434.

Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics, New York City

This selective four-year magnet school in East Harlem, funded by the New York City board of education, opened last September. The center is located at the former Benjamin Franklin High School, which was closed last year because of its sharply declining enrollment and troubled atmosphere.

A new 9th-grade class of 250 pupils will enter this fall; school officials intend to enroll 1,000 students by 1986.

The high school, which accepts students from throughout the city, offers a curriculum that includes an eight-period day, with three periods per week in computer science and five per week in technical drawing. The school has a microcomputer laboratory with 30 terminals.

The magnet has an advisory board that includes officials from Hunter College and major corporations, including International Business Machines, International Paper, Celanese, Ciba-Geigy, Exxon, Bell Laboratories, N.Y. Telephone, Consolidated Edison, and General Electric. The school-business relationship enables students to visit the companies and corporate scientists to participate in the schools. ibm plans to equip a new computer laboratory for the school next year.

In addition to the high school, the center also houses River East, an alternative elementary school for 100 children in kindergarten through 3rd grade, and the Isaac Newton School for Mathematics and Science, an intensified junior-high-school program for 150 7th and 8th graders.

Contact: Cole Genn, Principal, Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics, East 116th Street and fdr Drive, New York, N.Y. 10029; (212) 860-6035.

High School for Engineering Professions, Booker T. Washington High School, Houston, Tex.

Houston's engineering school-within-a-school opened in 1975, with one-third of its budget and some part-time staff members provided by a consortium of corporations.

About 450 students, out of a total school population of 1,800, are enrolled in the special program. Some 25 teachers and one administrator, along with a full-time engineer on loan from the International Business Machines Corporation, serve the pre-engineering students.

The program offers a prescribed college-preparatory curriculum with no elective classes; each day is seven periods long, and students have their mastery of skills monitored by computer.

Donations of between $100,000 and $150,000 are received by the program each year from companies such as Atlantic Richfield, Exxon, ibm, Shell, DuPont, Gulf, and Texaco.

Contact: F.D. Wesley, Principal, Booker T. Washington High School, 119 East 39th St., Houston, Tex. 77018; (713) 692-5947.

Vol. 02, Issue 39

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