GK-12 was a NSF-funded program run by Michigan
University and the Copper Country
Intermediate School District. This
three-year program selected graduate and advanced undergraduate students
from the fields of science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (88%
of Techs enrollment) and matched them with local schools where they acted
as resource consultants to K-12 teachers.
The goal of this program was to forge a closer, mutually beneficial
relationship between the local schools and higher education. According
to program director Beverly Baartmans, these non-education majors
helped develop a cadre of professionals who, after they go to work for business
and industry, will remain sensitive to the needs of their local schools and
[stay] actively involved in them.
The immediate work of the program fellows, however, was to transform
traditional math and science courses into state-of-the-art courses which
brought technology into the classroom as a means for more active, holistic
learning. Tech students spent ten hours per week in the classroom,
helping tweak course content to include new, sometimes interdisciplinary
topics, improved pedagogy by facilitating a more active, participatory
style of learning, and utilized technology to enrich the classroom experience.
The activities of these students fell into four themes, suggested by
teachers needs and Tech students interests. The first activity theme
was to develop science and math experiments at the K-6 level, create and
run family math, family science, and family computing programs, help
teachers update their computer skills and found ways to use the tools of
technology to enhance and enliven learning, and acted as resources for youth
interested in fields of science, engineering, and technology by providing
both content and career information to the students.
Michigan Tech's GK-12 fellows have kindly provided lesson plans supporting
the first activity theme; lesson plans are indexed at left and are linked
to this site.