Dordt College News

Summer research opportunities for science teachers

March 15, 2010

A new opportunity for high school and middle school science teachers will be offered at Dordt College this summer.

Dordt’s biology department is teaming up with the education department to offer teachers a scientific research opportunity, professional development, and three continuing education units for their work.

Science teachers who enroll in the program will have the opportunity to spend three weeks on Dordt’s campus July 12-30, actively participating in ongoing research projects such as genetic DNA fingerprinting of plants; bar-coding plant species using chloroplast genes; and profiling of prairie plant species.

Teachers will work directly with faculty and Dordt’s summer research students doing sample collection, analysis, and data organization, as well as learning advanced laboratory techniques. Research conducted by teachers could serve as the basis for the development of curriculum for their own high school classrooms.

Participating teachers will also have the opportunity to interact, discussing topics such as the process of science, faith and the nature of scientific knowledge, and science as stewardship.

Leading this continuing education opportunity will be Dr. Jeff Ploegstra, a professor of biology who came to Dordt last year. Coming to the college from a high school classroom (Kennedy Senior High School in Cedar Rapids). Ploegstra felt this program would offer a great opportunity to other teachers for professional research and development.

Ploegstra said the growth of the research program in the biology department and Dordt’s strong education department makes Dordt well-situated to provide a unique opportunity to assist Christian science teachers in furthering their professional growth.

Participants will be sent advance reading to prepare for their time on campus. All participants will receive a $500 stipend and, those who wish, may stay for free in college housing while they complete the program. Five $500 travel scholarships will be offered to qualifying participants.

To learn more about this program, contact Dr. Ploegstra.

Teachers interested in this or other continuing education courses being offered at Dordt College this summer can also get information on the website.

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