occupies a preeminent position in promoting and supporting science education in schools throughout the Mississippi Delta. Since its inception in 2000, CSEE has served as an important link between scientists and science educators at Delta State University, and PK - 12 teachers and administrators in the region.
Development of CSEE was based on the results of a formal needs assessment that was conducted during the 1997-98 academic year. Members of a random sample (stratified by level taught and school location within the Delta) of Mississippi Delta educators who teach science were asked to respond to items on a needs assessment instrument that was designed (1) to provide information regarding the extent of need for an entity such as CSEE, (2) to collect respondents' perceptions of the existing impediments to hands-on, inquiry-oriented science instruction in Delta schools, (3) to catalog on-going environmental education programs in Delta schools, and (4) to provide an opportunity for respondents' to share their ideas about the direction of science and environmental education in the Delta.
CSEE Organizational Structure
The flowchart illustrated below provides an overview of the CSEE organiztional structure, including a breakdown of the science education part of the program and the environmental education part of the program.
Many of these programs are at various stages of development and implementation based on financial resources and space availability.
CSEE Science Education Programs
The Science Education program associated with CSEE consists of two main components: the Science To Go (STG) Program which serves teachers and students of grades PK-6 and The Science in Motion (SIM) Program which targets teachers and students of grades 7-12. Both STG and SIM are comprehensive programs designed to support science curriculum implementation in Mississippi Delta public, private, and parochial schools.
Science To Go (STG) The STG Program has been designed to assist PK-6 teachers with implementation of guided inquiry and open inquiry instructional strategies in science classrooms. Several of the newer science curriculum programs espouse these teaching strategies. Examples of these programs include the following:
- Activities Integrating Math and Science (AIMS)
- Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS)
- Science and Technology for Children (STC)
- Full-Option Science System (FOSS)
Currently CSEE is providing support services to Mississippi Delta teachers using GEMS and AIMS materials. With the establishment of the Mississippi Delta GEMS Network Site in June, 2001, CSEE formalized its support of GEMS as an exemplary curriculum supplement for elementary and middle school science in Mississippi schools. Similarly, CSEE has become a proponent of using AIMS as a science curriculum supplement.
Science In Motion (SIM) The SIM Program is designed to assist teachers of grades 7-12 by providing professional development workshops focusing on innovative teaching strategies, materials support, and classroom implementation support. This program is being implemented one component at at time as funding and facilities permit. The most recent addition to SIM programming are "Science Demo Boxes". Focusing initially on teachers of Biology I and Biology II students in Mississippi Delta schools, each concept-specific demo box contains a demonstration that the instructor can use in teaching the identified concept. The box also contains all supplies necessary to complete the demonstration for each of the teacher's classes. Concepts addressed in the Science Demo Box program are correlated with the Mississippi Science Curriculum Framework. Teachers request use of one or more demo boxes on a loan basis from CSEE.
CSEE Environmental Education Programs Environmental education programs at CSEE focus on the importance of wetlands in sustaining a properly functioning biosphere. The six ponds that have been constructed on the CSEE property allow visiting school groups to investigate in a hands-on manner various aspects of wetland ecology. Since collecting and observation equipment such as nets, samplers, viewing boxes, and microscopes are available at CSEE, students have access to all the tools that they need for performing field-based investigations that focus on utilization of higher order thinking skills. The CSEE staff is currently formulating a "menu" of field trip opportunities that will allow teachers to design their students' CSEE field trip experiences around competencies included in the Mississippi Science Curriculum Framework.