The VIMS GK-12 Program "Partnership between Educators and Researchers for Enhancing Classroom Teaching (PERFECT)" supports fellowships and training for School of Marine Science graduate students. Through interactions with teachers and students in regional schools, graduate fellows improve their communication and teaching skills while enriching STEM content and instruction for their K-12 partners as "Scientists in Residence."
Selected Fellows work with professional teachers to introduce their research to the students. Our partners include schools with traditional STEM curricula, as well as schools with a special focus on marine and environmental science. These schools also serve a high percentage of students traditionally underrepresented in STEM. Originally funded by NSF's GK-12 program, the program continues for 2015-2016 with support from the Shelton Short, Jr. Trust and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.
Each fellow is paired with an in-service teacher throughout the year. This team format allows the fellow and the teacher to mentor and learn from each other. Commitment and support from fellow's major advisor is required.
What Do Fellows Do?
- Provide their partner teachers with summer research experience.
- Attend a short course and various workshops that focus on teaching theory and techniques.
- Develop appropriate teaching materials and activities that incorporate their own research and other science topics relevant to the needs of the classroom students and teachers.
- Commit at least 10 hours per week of "school time" working with partner teachers and students in classroom teaching and other school activities.
- Participate in project meetings, retreats, and project evaluation.