Akron Global Polymer Academy Awarded Grant to Promote Science and Technology

Researchers at The University of Akron will promote Ohio science and technology standards to middle-school teachers and administrators through a grant from the Ohio Board of Regents' Improving Teacher Quality Professional Development Program.

The board recently awarded a $62,956 grant to the Akron Global Polymer Academy (AGPA) Partnership Program — a collaboration of the University's College of Education and College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. The project leaders are Dr. Katharine Owens, associate professor of curricular and instructional studies; Dr. Frank Kelley, dean of the polymer college; and Charles Parsons, AGPA associate director for educational programs.

For the project, AGPA officials will work with school districts including the Akron City Schools, Barberton City Schools and Medina City Schools, as well as 20 additional public and private districts represented by the Educational Service Centers serving Medina and Stark counties.

Through intensive courses offered at the University, Web resources, regular meetings offered via distance learning technologies, and site visits by project leaders, the program will assist in the professional development of fifth- and eighth-grade teachers and administrators in the Ohio Academic Content Standards of Science and Technology.

The project's goals include improving learning outcomes measured by teachers' reports of students' acquisition of science skills, and knowledge of science and technology topics; building teachers' course content knowledge through professional development; developing administrators' understanding of research-based teaching techniques; and forming relationships among the University, K-12 educators and the scientific community.

“Education is a collaborative process,” Owens says. “This project will benefit administrators and science teachers as they provide meaningful and challenging learning experiences for their students.”

The Akron Global Polymer Academy has assembled fully developed lesson plans and videos of sample lectures, and links to science standards, best teaching practices and polymer resource materials.

For more information on polymers, click here.

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