VISTA and Narrows Elementary/Middle
This summer, four teachers from Narrows Elementary/Middle joined an innovative
initiative designed to change how science is taught across
Krista Dascano, Sarah McGlogthin, Donna Ralph and Michelle
Robertson began a year-long program with the Virginia Initiative for Science
Teaching and Achievement (VISTA), which kicked off with an intensive, four-week
Elementary Science Institute at Virginia Tech.
Funded by a $34m grant
from the U.S. Department of Education, the program applies the principles of
hands-on science, student-centered inquiry, the nature of science, and
problem-based learning. The goal is to shift science instruction from the
traditional teacher-led classroom to examining “real world” problems and
thinking like scientists to find solutions.
VISTA aims to improve student
learning by offering teachers free professional learning opportunities, free
personalized coaching and mentoring, a $5,000 stipend, $1,000 for classroom
supplies, a trip to the Virginia Association of Science Teachers Professional
Development Institute, and a diverse community of practice to support them
throughout the school year.