Summary of a new pilot project:
Expanding Access to STEM Coursework for Texas Rural Schools via Distance Education
The Sid Richardson Foundation has awarded funds to Tarleton to test a model that will expand science and math coursework, through distance learning, in rural school districts. This project will involve area rural public schools, in addition to the Tarleton State University Colleges of Education and Science and Technology.
The pilot project goal is to deliver physics content (not dual credit) via distance education while simultaneously training and mentoring local teachers to facilitate lab activities. In the first year, Tarleton will provide the content, professional development, and the necessary lab kits. After the first year, a lead teacher will be identified to deliver the course content, thus creating a sustainable, shared network that can be replicated in other rural regions and for other Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) area courses.
I should make it clear that the goal of the project is not to replace your existing STEM teachers. Our goal is to supplement and enhance what schools are able to offer students, while building capacity among existing teachers.
The first year of the project, Dr. Dan Marble will be offering the physics content from Tarleton to the 3-5 selected schools while teachers facilitate provided lab activities. In addition to being a distinguished physics professor at Tarleton, Dr. Marble was integral in developing current state curricula in physics and has a great deal of experience in delivering highly engaging, interactive content via ITV. In subsequent years, a lead teacher will be selected from one of the 3-5 schools to continue offering the content portion of the course. The benefits for participation include potential funding for technology, expanded ability to offer physics coursework, an on-campus workshop for teachers, graduate credit offerings for teachers, conference attendance for teachers, and on-campus opportunities for students.