From research labs to the schools: Science teachers bring summer science to the classroom

December 07, 2005

Sixteen teachers participating in an American Physiological Society (APS) fellowship program are using an APS mini-grant to test the science experiments and lessons they designed over the summer.

The teachers, who come from 12 states, are participating in the Frontiers in Physiology 2005 Professional Development Fellowship program and will field test the lessons at their own schools. The program is part of the Society's continuing effort to promote excellence in science education.

The APS 2005 Frontiers in Physiology Research Fellows, their schools, and host research institutions are as follows:

Michael Aprill - Random Lake High School, Random Lake, Wisc.
Medical College of Wisconsin.

Ginna Guiang Barreda Myers - Norwood Junior High School, Sacramento, Calif.
University of California, Davis.

Peggy Dabel - Adams Middle School, Richmond, Calif.
University of California, Berkeley.

Fanette H. Entzminger - Farmville Central High School, Farmville, No. Carolina.
East Carolina University.

Katrenia Hosea-Flanigan - Frank Cody High School, Detroit, Mich.
University of Michigan.

Tara Goetschkes - Walter Panas High School, Cortlandt Manor, NY.
New York Medical College.

Elleen Hutcheson - Rogers High School Sophomore Campus, Rogers, Ark.
University of Arkansas.

Toni Lafferty - C.H. Yoe High School, Cameron, Tex.
Texas A&M University System Health Science Center.

Brian McClain - Amos P. Godby High School, Tallahassee, Fl.
Florida State University.

Yvette McCulley - King Science & Technology Magnet, Omaha, Neb.
Creighton University School of Medicine.

Gregory W. McCurdy - Salem High School, Salem, Ind.
University of Louisville.

Rebecca McGehee - Harwood Junior High, Bedford, Tex.
Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas/UT Southwestern Med. Center.

George Potter - Seymour High School, Seymour, Ind.
Indiana University School of Medicine.

Cecilia Stingley - Academy of Learning-West, West Allis, Wisc.
Medical College of Wisconsin.

Sally Stoll - Vermillion Middle School, Vermillion, So. Dakota.

Leslie Van - Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, Md.
Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

The APS awards the Professional Development Fellowships annually to middle school and high school science teachers across the country. The program gives teachers a chance to learn research techniques and follow the scientific process from start to finish. As a result, they gain a greater understanding of science and the importance of biomedical research, which they pass on to their students. The teachers also learn effective education strategies to help translate their research experience into classroom labs.

Each teacher participated in classes with APS staff and mentor teachers, using the "inquiry-based" teaching method to help students frame a scientific question, gather information, develop a hypothesis, and design an experiment to test the hypothesis. The staff also helped them apply to work with an APS researcher and they got to work in the host researcher's laboratory during the summer.

The fellows began the program in April with three months of online work where they interacted with each other and participated in web-based learning activities. During this time, the fellows learned how to guide students to use the Internet to gather scientific information and also learned ways to involve all learners regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or learning style.

During the summer vacation, each teacher joined an APS member in a research laboratory to do in-depth biomedical scientific research as a member of the research team. Later, they attended a one-week science teaching forum at the Airlie Center in Warrenton, Va. There, they worked with APS staff, physiologists, and teacher mentors to discuss how to translate what they learned in the laboratories and in class to their own work with their students.

Since the Frontiers program began in 1990, nearly 325 teachers and 211 APS members have participated. The summer grant of up to $8,500 also includes travel expenses to attend Experimental Biology 2006, an APS-sponsored scientific conference which attracts nearly 10,000 scientists annually.
The Frontiers in Physiology Program is sponsored by APS, the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), the Science Education Partnership Awards (SEPA), and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at the National Institutes of Health. Frontiers in Physiology is one of several grant-supported programs that APS administers. For more information about APS Education Programs, email: or visit the APS website at

The APS supports a variety of educational activities including programs and fellowships to encourage the development of young scientists at the undergraduate and graduate levels, with a particular focus on women and underrepresented minorities.

APS also supports refresher courses and teaching awards promoting continued excellence in education at the professional level, as well as teacher and program development in K-12th grade. In May 2004, APS received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM).

The American Physiological Society is a professional scientific membership organization devoted to fostering scientific research, education, and the dissemination of scientific information. Founded in 1887, the Society's membership includes more than 10,000 professionals in science and medicine.

Christine Guilfoy
American Physiological Society

American Physiological Society

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